The Ice Forest: Six Stories

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One of Publishers Weekly's Best Books of 1991

The recurring theme in the six thoughtful stories collected here is of persons whose difficulties--difficulties in their relationships, difficulties of finding or not finding one another, of remaining together or separating-point to a trouble that is deeper, and to questions that are metaphysical. Incomplete, they are persons in quest of wholeness. Each story seems to convey its characters into a kind of inward wasteland out of ...

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Overview


One of Publishers Weekly's Best Books of 1991

The recurring theme in the six thoughtful stories collected here is of persons whose difficulties--difficulties in their relationships, difficulties of finding or not finding one another, of remaining together or separating-point to a trouble that is deeper, and to questions that are metaphysical. Incomplete, they are persons in quest of wholeness. Each story seems to convey its characters into a kind of inward wasteland out of which some to a greater extent, some to a lesser extent, succeed in finding their way. The stories are as much about the integration of the individual as they are about the possibility of people getting together in any abiding way.
 

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In this singular collection of short fiction, nature's uncaring immutability serves as both backdrop and antagonist to point up the helplessness of human beings against the ravages of time, and the isolation that is our ultimate condition. McGuire's characters seek love as a salvation from life's emptiness. In two stories, older men are rejuvenated by relationships with younger women. Freezing cold is shut out by the heat of passion; but eventually, winter and the awareness of death set in, and love becomes powerless. In ``The Shadow of the Mountain,'' a cherished baby is lost and a pregnancy aborted as a result of disease, and in the title story the fear of death, symbolized by an ice forest, causes painful disorientation. In ``Walls,'' a vast, dry landscape elicits despair from five campers, the romance of getting back to nature suddenly converted into a nightmarish confrontation with infinite blankness. McGuire's writing is hauntingly thoughtful, inexorably true. With spare words and stark settings, the author has painted six deeply unsettling tales that address our most profound concerns. McGuire is a playwright whose work includes The Scott Fitzgerald Play. (Jan.)
From the Publisher

"McGuire's writing is hauntingly thoughtful, inexorably true. With spare words and stark settings, the author has painted six deeply unsettling tales that address our most profound concerns." --Publishers Weekly
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780910395595
  • Publisher: Northwestern University Press
  • Publication date: 9/1/1990
  • Edition description: 1
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 96
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author


Born in Chicago, Michael McGuire spent many years abroad, living economically in Ireland, then teaching in London, Holland, Germany, Italy, and Saudi Arabia. He had already been writing plays—and had had major productions—before he took up fiction.
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Table of Contents


A Winter Death
The Shadow of the Mountain
Walls
The Stone Garden
Inga 
The Ice Forest
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