American Salvageby Bonnie Jo Campbell
Finalist for the 2009 National Book Award in Fiction; finalist for the 2009 National Book Critics Circle Award in Fiction. “These short stories approach their subjects from an array of perspectives, but what they share is freshness, surprise, and a compulsion to plumb some absolute extremes of American existence.”National Book Award citationAmerican… See more details below
Finalist for the 2009 National Book Award in Fiction; finalist for the 2009 National Book Critics Circle Award in Fiction. “These short stories approach their subjects from an array of perspectives, but what they share is freshness, surprise, and a compulsion to plumb some absolute extremes of American existence.”National Book Award citationAmerican Salvage is rich with local color and peopled with rural characters who love and hate extravagantly. They know how to fix cars and washing machines, how to shoot and clean game, and how to cook up methamphetamine, but they have not figured out how to prosper in the twenty-first century. Through the complex inner lives of working-class characters, Bonnie Jo Campbell illustrates the desperation of post-industrial America, where wildlife, jobs, and whole ways of life go extinct and the people have no choice but to live off what is left behind.
Meet the Author
Bonnie Jo Campbell teaches in the low-residency MFA program at
Pacific University. The author of Once
Upon a River and American Salvage,
she lives in Kalamazoo, Michigan.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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These are stories about the down and out and those looking for a way out. Just gripping storytelling that stops, surprises you, and urges you to read the next story. With clean, (deceptively) simple writing, she quickly delineates her characters and life situations. You think you might know someone like that, or someone who is feeling like that, or you remember feeling like that. There is an intelligence and resignation about human nature in her characters, but they also have a strong will to see things through. This writer has quite a mind. I now am reading Bonnie Jo Campbell's other works and hope I find a novel among her short stories.
A collection of short stories that end abruptly, leaving you wanting more, while at the same time sparking your imagination as to what happens next. Excellent character development and scene descriptive text. Especially if you live in the Midwest, it's easy to visualize the stories as you read them, easy to picture your own family, friends and acquaintances in these same situations.