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From Barnes & NobleBarnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers
In Moraine, Ohio, a single highway is the only link to the outside world. The names of its streets are unadorned: Market, Mulberry, and Main. Home to a crumbling high school, a few fast-food places, and a sluggish river that cleverly reversed direction, Moraine is a postindustrial speck in southern Ohio bordered by Appalachia and West Virginia, an isolated community where change comes slowly, if at all.
In Gabriel’s evocative collection, this sense of place is defining and connects each of the characters’ lives – parents, children, teachers, coaches, and the loners – those who somehow end up in Moraine rather than somewhere else. While a few are young enough to remember where another choice might have led, most are too dug in to care: a teenager who witnesses a drowning, a young man who abandons a once passionate love, children who crossed paths with an escaped convict.
Winner of the Mary McCarthy Prize in Short Fiction (adjudicated by National Book Award winner Andrea Barrett), Gabriel’s debut is remarkably wise and affecting – a lament for childhoods long gone and the innocence and hope that’s left behind. Simply told and gracefully written, Gabriel’s stories coil around in your head – lingering, suggesting, probing – their heartfelt effect built word by word and line by line.