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Dancing in the Movies
     

Dancing in the Movies

by Robert Boswell
 

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Encompassing a vast gamut of personalities, situations, and emotions, these stories penetrate our motives for doing what is right. Often there is no right or wrong, and the characters' motives for the choices they make are as diverse as the childhood memories they cherish and abhor. In the end, this book probes individual impulse and responsibility, creating

Overview

Encompassing a vast gamut of personalities, situations, and emotions, these stories penetrate our motives for doing what is right. Often there is no right or wrong, and the characters' motives for the choices they make are as diverse as the childhood memories they cherish and abhor. In the end, this book probes individual impulse and responsibility, creating stories so unerringly authentic that they become—irrepressibly—part of everyone who reads them.

"The Darkness of Love" narrates three days in the life of a black policeman, distressed by his inner fears of racism and irresistibly attracted by his wife's sister. In "Dancing in the Movies" a college student returns to his hometown, where he finds his girlfriend—a heroin addict—and tries to convince her to overcome her habit. There are stories of men at war, of lovers trying to begin a relationship, of others trying to sustain their love. Each story revolves around characters with a choice to make, and Robert Boswell renders these characters in all of their fine, vulnerable, and relentless attributes.

With this prize-winning collection, Boswell proves himself a mature craftsperson, weaving stories both poignant and profound. Each story is a vision of life, alternately dark and joyous, gritty and hopeful.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Six dexterously shaped stories make up this volume, winner of the 1985 Iowa School of Letters Award for Short Fiction. Boswell's believable characters are involved in situations that are sometimes painfully true-to-life. One story concerns an American soldier who loses both feet while fighting in the Korean War; another tells of a black New York City policeman who visits his in-laws in Tennessee, where he is tormented by his fear that he is a racist and by the discovery that he loves his wife's sister. The author's ability to create affecting relationships is evident in such entries as ``Kentucky,'' which deals with the growing pains of three brothers, and the title story, in which a young man returns home from college and tries to save his girlfriend from her destructive lifestyle. A satisfying, if at times disturbing, collection. January
Library Journal
This collection of six short stories (four of which were previously published in literary magazines) won the 1985 Iowa School of Letters Award for Short Fiction, judged by Tim O'Brien. Boswell's stories depict the distress and confusion of people entangled in difficult situations: ``Little Bear'' and ``The Right Thing'' express the pain of combat veterans (in Korea and Vietnam, respectively); the title story, ``Flipflops,'' and ``The Darkness of Love'' portray the anxieties and frustrations of lovers. Compact and controlled, Boswell's style frequently succeeds in re-creating an atmosphere of tension. Recommended for collections of serious fiction. Sherrie Tuck, Episcopal Div. Sch./Weston Sch. of Theology Libs., Cambridge, Mass.
From the Publisher

"Dancing in the Movies is a powerful book, taut and stark, intense with human passion. Bluntly, bravely, Robert Boswell explores that gray borderland where betrayal mixes with trust, violence with love, despair with hope. The final effect is overwhelming."—Tim O'Brien

"Reading Boswell is like watching that kind of seemingly effortless dance; these six stories add up to a stunning performance."—Village Voice

"[Boswell offers] six dexterously shaped stories. . . . [His] believable characters are involved in situations that are sometimes painfully true-to-life. . . . [Dancing in the Movies is] a satisfying, if at times disturbing, collection."—Publishers Weekly

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781587290213
Publisher:
University of Iowa Press
Publication date:
01/01/1986
Series:
Iowa Short Fiction Award
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
153
File size:
459 KB

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Meet the Author

Robert Boswell is the author of six novels including Century’s Son, Mystery Ride, and Crooked Hearts, three story collections including The Heyday of the Insensitive Bastards, a play, a cyberpunk novel, and two nonfiction books. He has received National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships, a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Iowa School of Letters Award for Short Fiction, the PEN West Award for Fiction, the John Gassner Prize for Playwriting, and the Evil Companions Award. His stories have appeared in the New Yorker, Best American Short Stories, O. Henry Prize Stories, Pushcart Prize Stories, Esquire, Colorado Review, and other magazines. He teaches creative writing at the University of Houston and in the Warren Wilson MFA Program for Writers.

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