Power Lines: and Other Stories

Overview


Jane Bradley's career was launched when the University of Arkansas Press published her first collection of short stories, Power Lines, in 1989. The collection, lauded at the time by the New York Times, Library Journal, Publishers Weekly, and others, is available again, bringing readers this writing filled with sympathy for and understanding of ordinary lives, and as the New York Times book review said at its publication, writing filled also with promise for Bradley’s future. ...
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Overview


Jane Bradley's career was launched when the University of Arkansas Press published her first collection of short stories, Power Lines, in 1989. The collection, lauded at the time by the New York Times, Library Journal, Publishers Weekly, and others, is available again, bringing readers this writing filled with sympathy for and understanding of ordinary lives, and as the New York Times book review said at its publication, writing filled also with promise for Bradley’s future.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Like Chekov, Bradley depends on atmosphere and character and tone, and the relationship among those, rather than plot, to accomplish her aims. This is a dangerous procedure in which Bradley succeeds brilliantly." --John Williams "The eleven stories in this debut collection explore the power lines in individual lives and in male-female relationships. The main characters struggle to cope with death, violence, absence; somehow they find ways to empower themselves, to find sliver of grace." -- Simone Poirier-Bures "The surface of the stories in Power Lines, Jane Bradley's first collection of stories, is calm. Her lyrical descriptions cast a cool, measured spell over the rural Southern landscapes through which her characters move. But, violence is everywhere in their lives – a boy slaps his sister, a cat kills her kittens, a man's fist crashes into a woman's face, a Vietnam veteran takes a room at the Holiday Inn and blows his brains out. --Mark Childress "Jane Bradley is an accomplished playwright, one who has won awards, had plays produced, and so it is no surprise that one of the strengths of these stories is their strong and immediate sense of drama, though the plots and action always involve ordinary lives and ordinary people. That makes Bradley an exceptional writer and the stories truly first rate." -- Christopher Buckley
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The men and women in this debut collection respond to loss with extreme, destructive behavior. Wives and children are abused; teens get pregnant; alcoholics abound. Victories over adversity are hard won and small, while financial instability is insurmountable. Bradley romanticizes privation, but frequently electrifies the bleak worlds of her characters with specific disturbances. In ``Across the Road,'' for example, two neighbors grudgingly confront their hatred for each other after iron-willed, elderly Hallie faints in her garden and 39-year-old divorcee Stacey Lee rushes instinctively to her aid. ``I never asked you for help,'' says Hallie; ``I never meant to give none. . . . You're lucky I didn't have time to think,'' Stacey Lee answers. But their defenses falter when a cat who has strayed into Hallie's house kills and eats her newborn kittens. In less effective pieces, violence seems global and the personalities of the embattled protagonists never clearly emerge. Despite unevenness and exaggerated drama, Bradley's clean, declarative prose yields stirring moments. (Sept.)
Library Journal
The stories in Bradley's first collection are about people with very little to lose, who lose the little they do have and somehow manage to survive. In ``Mistletoe,'' a woman married to the wrong man, and leading a life of quiet desperation, is kept alive by the powerful memory of the married man she once loved deeply. ``What Happened to Wendell?'' is about the failure of love to keep a Vietnam veteran from committing suicide. In ``Noises,'' a mother makes a valiant but vain attempt to disentangle her daughter from her violent husband. And the title story is a contemporary ghost story about the lines that connect one generation to another. Bradley is not maudlin; her insight into the characters and her honest affection for them prevent it. Ultimately, these strong stories are about survival, not despair.-- Marcia Tager, Tenafly, N.J.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781557281111
  • Publisher: University of Arkansas Press
  • Publication date: 1/1/1989
  • Pages: 122
  • Product dimensions: 5.51 (w) x 8.68 (h) x 0.51 (d)

Meet the Author


Jane Bradley is the author of Living Doll, Are We Lucky Yet, and You Believers. She has won numerous awards for her work, including an NEA Individual Artists Fellowship and an Ohio Arts Council Fellowship. She is a Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Toledo.
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