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by Glen Pourciau
 

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Intense inner and outer monologues resonate through the lives of Glen Pourciau’s characters. We hear the voice of a man who will not stop talking, the voice of a man who does not want to talk, the voice of a man stunned into silence by his sudden awareness of a desire he did not know he felt, and the voice of a man struggling to accept his imminent

Overview

Intense inner and outer monologues resonate through the lives of Glen Pourciau’s characters. We hear the voice of a man who will not stop talking, the voice of a man who does not want to talk, the voice of a man stunned into silence by his sudden awareness of a desire he did not know he felt, and the voice of a man struggling to accept his imminent death.

Inhabiting an outwardly bland landscape that overlays internal questions and recurring confusion, the narrators of these ten intensely felt stories strive to understand their varied predicaments. Conflicts with neighbors arise, troubling memories return, suspicions and fears lead people into isolated corners as distances open up inside them and around them. And in those open spaces, the sometimes humorous, sometimes obsessive voices continue their quest. In the final story, “Deep Wilderness,” the voices seem to fragment as a family comes apart.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“In these wonderful, fascinating stories you'll hear the sadness of Carver and the sly play of Barthelme, but mainly Glen Pourciau finds a voice all his own, an obsessive voice hunting down an elusive broken piece of our weird modern American life. The beauty is in their mundane self-consciousness, in the lonely ruminations, shared by everyone, that don't resolve our questions but only drive us further into a mysterious and haunting isolation.”—Charles D’Ambrosio, author, The Dead Fish Museum and Orphans
Publishers Weekly

To speak or not to speak is the recurring theme in Pourciau's 10 short stories. In "The Neighbor," a character "rattles around in his house with his story trapped inside him," while in "Among the Missing," the narrator is such an unstoppable fount of conversation that a couple hires him to talk to them. A slight discourtesy, begun when the narrator and his wife in "Snub" avoid a couple whose company they do not enjoy, becomes a round of increasingly obsessive apologies, accusations, explanations and excuses. In the title story, a simple "What are you doing here?" haunts the narrator, who can never decide if the question was a challenge or an innocent query. Taken at once, Pourciau's stories are obsessive, repetitive and tend to blur, but individually, the better entries resonate with the questions they provoke about life, reality, memory and truth. (Oct.)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781587296925
Publisher:
University of Iowa Press
Publication date:
10/15/2008
Series:
Iowa Short Fiction Award Series
Edition description:
1
Pages:
120
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 9.20(h) x 0.50(d)

Meet the Author

Glen Pourciau’s stories have won the Carter V. Cooper Memorial Prize and the Brazos Bookstore Award for Best Short Story from the Texas Institute of Letters, and they have been cited in Best American Short Stories and nominated for Pushcart Prizes. He has published stories in such magazines as the New England Review, Ontario Review, Mississippi Review, New Orleans Review, Cimarron Review, and Quarterly West. He lives in Plano, Texas.

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