The Evening News

Overview


Tony Ardizzone writes of the moments in our lives that shine, that burn in the dim expanse of memory with the intensity and vivid light of the evening news. The men and women in these stories tend to arrange their days, order their pasts, plan their futures in the light of such moments, finding epiphanies in the glowing memory of a father’s laugh or a mother’s repeated story, in a broken date or a rained-out ball game.

Set mostly in Chicago’s blue-collar neighborhoods, these ...

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Overview


Tony Ardizzone writes of the moments in our lives that shine, that burn in the dim expanse of memory with the intensity and vivid light of the evening news. The men and women in these stories tend to arrange their days, order their pasts, plan their futures in the light of such moments, finding epiphanies in the glowing memory of a father’s laugh or a mother’s repeated story, in a broken date or a rained-out ball game.

Set mostly in Chicago’s blue-collar neighborhoods, these stories focus on subjects that concern us all: disease and death, vandalism and sacrilege, rape and infidelity, lost love. The husband and wife in the title story look at their pasts—his as an activist in the sixties and hers as a believer in reincarnation and the tarot—in light of the news stories they watch on television each evening and question whether they should bring a child into the world. And in “The Walk-On,” a bartender and former varsity pitcher for the University of Illinois Fighting Illini finds the actual events of the most cataclysmic day in his past unequal to their impact on his life and so rewrites them in his mind, adding an ill-placed banana peel, a falling meteor, and a careening truck in order to create a more fitting climax and finally to leave those memories behind him.

Searching their pasts for clues to the present, searching the horizons of their days for love, the characters in The Evening News seek, and sometimes find, redemption in a world of uncertainty and brightly burning emotions.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Winner of the Flannery O'Connor Award for Short Fiction, this collection is an uneven combination of daring and prosaic writing. Ardizzone is at his best when he takes a few risks, experimenting with the intertwining of past and present. ``My Father's Laugh'' is a powerful evocation of a young man's relationship with his father; the narrator comes to terms with both his father's death and a dying love affair. The title story, tooin which a couple watches the news and wonders how they can bring a child into such a terrible world, much less find a way to affirm their own love for one anothershows Ardizzone to be a self-assured writer with something to say. Many of these pieces, however, read like early, perhaps autobiographical effortsdescriptions of a boy growing up in Chicago, playing baseball, being a youthful revolutionary. In trying to depict the momentous within the mundane, Ardizzone must narrow his vision, and risk losing the reader. Otherwise, Ardizzone (Heart of the Order demonstrates a fine understanding of human vulnerability. (October)
From the Publisher

“Rich. . . . Ardizzone mines fresh fictional veins and displays a stunning stylistic range.”—Washington Times

“Ardizzone writes a strong, spare prose that quickly sketches characters and situations, yet his work is invested with a deep humanism that compels the reader to see his characters as people—people you care about.”—Seattle Times

“All the stories are intensely told and skillfully written. Ardizzone has a special capacity for appreciating the values of home and family, of ethnic pride and humor, and of street smarts.”—Chicago Magazine

"Tough, menacing stories in which fate and memory exercise their Hardylike sway, all narrated in a variety of inventive and accomplished voices."—San Francisco Examiner

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Product Details

Meet the Author


Tony Ardizzone is the author of eight books, including the novel The Whale Chaser and the story collection The Calling of Saint Matthew: Stories of Rome. He has received a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts as well as the Pushcart Prize, the Milkweed Editions National Fiction Prize, the Chicago Foundation for Literature Award for Fiction sponsored by the Friends of Literature, and the Virginia Prize for Fiction, among other honors. Ardizzone was born and raised on the North Side of Chicago.
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Table of Contents


My Mother's Stories

The Eyes of Children

The Evening News

My Father's Laugh

The Daughter and the Tradesman

Idling

The Transplant

The Intersection

World Without End

The Walk-On

Nonna

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