A Room of Rain
The narratives throughout Gary Fincke’s sixth collection of short stories contain newsworthy events that are chronicled secondhand: the shooting of a policeman, the murder of a house flipper, the firing of a teacher for punching a violent student, the accidental drowning of a gay man in a flood, and a fire somewhat accidently set by a juvenile smoker in a school.
Despite these surprising events, the narrator of each story is an ordinary person caught up in the action but preoccupied by other things, whether zombie movies, collecting unusual words, the oddity of other people’s sexual habits, or what to do in retirement.
These shocking incidents become both central and peripheral to the narrative, as Fincke portrays the fluctuating emotions and self-protective reflections of fathers, sons, and husbands, creating a world where individuals rarely understand each other, yet still arrive at moments of compassion, tolerance, perseverance, and familial love.
Seamless short stories by an old master of the form.'
Madison Smartt Bell, author of the Haitian Revolutionary trilogy of All Soul's Rising, Master of the Crossroads, and The Stone That The Builder Refused
Funny, gritty, provocative.'
Cary Holladay, author of The Deer in the Mirror
One of the most reliable and prolific writers out there. Fincke flat out knows how to write.'
Jim Daniels, author of Eight Mile High
Gary Fincke is the Charles Degenstein Professor of English and Creative Writing at Susquehanna University. Winner of the 2003 Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction, the 2003 The Ohio State University Press/The Journal Award in Poetry, and the 2010 Stephen F. Austin Poetry Prize for recent collections. He has published twenty-six books of short fiction, poetry, and nonfiction as well as the novel How Blasphemy Sounds to God. He is the author of The Proper Words for Sin, a finalist for the 2014 Paterson Fiction Prize.
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