Return Fire

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"I was born in a land of bayous, raised between rivers," writes Glenn Blake in his latest collection of short stories. "There is a place in Southeast Texas where two rivers meet and become one. There is a long bridge over these waters, and as you drive across, you can look to the south and see where the Old River and the Lost River become the Old and the Lost. You can look out as far as you can see and watch this wide water become the bay."

The stories in Return Fire are set in the swamps, bayous, and sloughs of Southeast Texas, a region that is subsiding—sinking inches every year beneath the encroaching tides. The characters who inhabit Blake’s Southern landscape struggle to salvage what they can of their hopes and dreams. They are the walking wounded—cautious, crippled, capable of any act. Magnolias, water, mescal, stars, and fire return again and again in these seven sparse—yet tightly written—vignettes.

Johns Hopkins University Press

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Editorial Reviews

Texas Review - Joseph D. Haske

Blake demonstrates just how effective a spare prose style can be. Blake's beautiful, poetic diction adds intrigue and gravity to his characters and awakens the mystical, small-town Gulf Coast landscape... Blake has a knack for recreating vivid scenes from the natural environment and for evoking distinct psychological spaces through his characters. The stories in Return Fire are effectively linked by an imminent hopelessness, a recognition of the inevitable loss of both physical and psychological space in a changing American society. Those who know small towns and the people who inhabit them might feel a sense of nostalgia reading these stories. Blake takes us there, to these disappearing spaces, in his visually and verbally rich collection.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780801894312
  • Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
  • Publication date: 2/16/2010
  • Series: Johns Hopkins: Poetry and Fiction Series
  • Pages: 112
  • Sales rank: 1,519,264
  • Product dimensions: 5.70 (w) x 8.60 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Glenn Blake is the managing editor of The Hopkins Review and a senior lecturer at the Johns Hopkins University Writing Seminars. He has received the PEN Southwest Award for Fiction and the John N. Wall Fellowship from the Sewanee Writers' Conference. Blake is the author of Drowned Moon, also published by Johns Hopkins.

Johns Hopkins University Press

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Table of Contents

Return Fire 3

Deguello 14

Thanksgiving 21

How Far Are We from the Water? 45

When the Gods Want to Punish You 53

Shooting Stars 74

The Old and the Lost 78

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