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Where the God of Love Hangs out: Fictionby Amy Bloom
Synopses & Reviews
Your Borders, Your Rivers, Your Tiny Villages
At two o'clock in the morning, no one is to blame.
We'd been watching CNN, one scene of disaster leading to the next, the reporter in front of what might have been a new anthrax outbreak giving way to the military analyst in the studio with new developments in Kabul, when William put his hand on my breast. My husband was asleep upstairs, dreaming of making the deal that would put us on high ground when the entire economy collapsed, and William's wife was asleep in the guest room, getting her restorative eight hours. I think of Isabel as forcefully regular and elegant in all of her habits, and I'm sure she thinks of me as a little askew in all of mine.
William's hand trembled slightly. Our two plain gold wedding bands twinkled in the light of the TV screen. He touched my breast through my bathrobe and my pajamas--I had dressed for watching TV with William as if for bundling--for a very long time. His touch, left forefinger on left nipple, through wool and flannel, should have been numbing in its dreamy repetition, but it was not; it captured my whole body's attention. We kept our eyes on the TV. Finally, he fumbled under my robe and opened two buttons of my pajama top. His hand moved across my breast, and I sighed. I heard him breathing, hard and damp, and I put my hand on his big belly. It does not seem possible that we are people with three children, two marriages, and a hundred and ten years between us.
The first time I made out in a car, it was with Roger Saleta from Far Rockaway. We were trying to end the war in Vietnam by flooding the local draft board with mail and marching in front of it whenever our class schedules allowed. I had spoken at a big rally, wearing an electric-blue nylon halter top and my tight bell-?bottoms with a crucified Jesus painted on the right leg. (I pretended not to know, and it may have been that I actually did not know then, why some people found this offensive. I'm not mocking Jesus, I told my mother. I'm just representing him, on my jeans.) Roger circled around the parking lot after the rally and offered me a ride in his gold Camaro. We drove to Jones Beach, miles from the protest, miles from social studies and home ec, and we stayed in the car while the waves crashed and we worked at each other. Hands and mouths. Necks and elbows. He licked me through my jeans until they were wet and dark blue from inseam to belt buckle. I wanted to bang my head against the back of the seat from pleasure, and dug my hands into his black curls instead. This boy, not my idea of a lover, not even my idea of a date, had my body humming, dancing its tiny, fierce dance in the backseat. His hands under me and his mouth shamelessly pressed against me, as if the rest of the world could sink into the ocean out there and we would not even blink, or maybe, yes, blink dully, just once, before we returned to the real world of my pussy and his mouth. Later, we went to his prom, and I saw that he couldn't dance, which I hadn't known, and that his eyes were much too close together, which I had known and ignored, and I was a big disappointment to him that night. ***
William whispered something to me, but they were showing night bombing in the north and I couldn't hear him over the shouting correspondent. May I? he said again, and put his mouth over my nipple. William is English, and he has beautiful manners. He has nev
The National Book Award-finalist author of Away presents a series of interconnected stories in which a young woman struggles to come to terms with her roommate's murder, in-laws confess their indiscretions in an unlikely place and two middle-aged friends discover a comedic attraction. 75,000 first printing.
BONUS: This edition contains a Where the God of Love Hangs Out discussion guide.
Love, in its many forms and complexities, weaves through this collection by Amy Bloom, theNew York Times bestselling author of Away. Bloom's astonishing and astute stories illuminate the mysteries of passion, family, and friendship. A youngwoman is haunted by her roommate's murder; a man and his daughter-in-law confess their sins in the unlikeliest of places; two middle-aged, married friends find themselves surprisingly drawn to each other, riskingall for their love but never underestimating the cost. Propelled by Bloom's dazzling prose, unmistakable voice, and generous wit, Where the God of Love Hangs Out takes us tothe margins and the centers of people's emotional lives, exploring the changes that come with love and loss.
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About the Author
\Amy Bloom is the author of the bestselling and acclaimed Away; Come to Me, a National Book Award finalist; A Blind Man Can See How Much I Love You, nominated for the National Book Critics Circle Award; Love Invents Us; and Normal. Her stories have appeared in The Best American Short Stories, O. Henry Prize Short Stories, The Scribner Anthology of Contemporary Short Fiction, and many other anthologies here and abroad. She has written for The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, The Atlantic Monthly, Vogue, Granta, and Slate, among other publications, and has won a National Magazine Award. Bloom teaches creative writing at Yale University.
Table of Contents
William and Clare — Your borders, your rivers, your tiny villages — I love to see you coming, I hate to see you go — Old impossible — Compassion and mercy — Between here and here — Sastrugi — Sampson Family — Sleepwalking — Night vision — Light into dark — Fort useless and fort ridiculous — By-and-by — Where the God of love hangs out.
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