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Other titles in the Iowa Short Fiction Award series:
Invite (Iowa Short Fiction Award)by Glen Pourciau
Synopses & Reviews
"To speak or not to speak is the recurring theme in Pourciau's 10 short stories. In 'The Neighbor,' a character 'rattles around in his house with his story trapped inside him,' while in 'Among the Missing,' the narrator is such an unstoppable fount of conversation that a couple hires him to talk to them. A slight discourtesy, begun when the narrator and his wife in 'Snub' avoid a couple whose company they do not enjoy, becomes a round of increasingly obsessive apologies, accusations, explanations and excuses. In the title story, a simple 'What are you doing here?' haunts the narrator, who can never decide if the question was a challenge or an innocent query. Taken at once, Pourciau's stories are obsessive, repetitive and tend to blur, but individually, the better entries resonate with the questions they provoke about life, reality, memory and truth." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
Intense inner and outer monologues resonate through the lives of Glen Pourciau’s characters. We hear the voice of a man who will not stop talking, the voice of a man who does not want to talk, the voice of a man stunned into silence by his sudden awareness of a desire he did not know he felt, and the voice of a man struggling to accept his imminent death.
Inhabiting an outwardly bland landscape that overlays internal questions and recurring confusion, the narrators of these ten intensely felt stories strive to understand their varied predicaments. Conflicts with neighbors arise, troubling memories return, suspicions and fears lead people into isolated corners as distances open up inside them and around them. And in those open spaces, the sometimes humorous, sometimes obsessive voices continue their quest. In the final story, “Deep Wilderness,” the voices seem to fragment as a family comes apart.
About the Author
Glen Pourciau’s stories have won the Carter V. Cooper Memorial Prize and the Brazos Bookstore Award for Best Short Story from the Texas Institute of Letters, and they have been cited in Best American Short Stories and nominated for Pushcart Prizes. He has published stories in such magazines as the New England Review, Ontario Review, Mississippi Review, New Orleans Review, Cimarron Review, and Quarterly West. He lives in Plano, Texas.
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