The Way People Run: Stories

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Against the backdrop of vivid settings, especially the Chesapeake Bay region and the American West, and observed with passion, generosity and grace, these stunning short stories illuminate the deep emotional connections and disconnections both between people and within them. In the title story, chosen for the 1992 Best American Short Stories volume, a man goes west to find a new job and loses his hold on his old life. In "Something Important," Peter Ramsey undertakes a reunion with his long-lost brother, and ...
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Overview

Against the backdrop of vivid settings, especially the Chesapeake Bay region and the American West, and observed with passion, generosity and grace, these stunning short stories illuminate the deep emotional connections and disconnections both between people and within them. In the title story, chosen for the 1992 Best American Short Stories volume, a man goes west to find a new job and loses his hold on his old life. In "Something Important," Peter Ramsey undertakes a reunion with his long-lost brother, and discovers that his wife is in love with someone else. In "Things Left Undone," which appeared in the 1994 edition of Best American Short Stories, a young couple tries to survive a tragedy. Life's truths are at the heart of these magnificent stories by a modern American master.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Tilghman is a truly gifted writer who can get inside people's weaknesses and make sense of actions so often misunderstood among families. The value of relationships between family, friends, and lovers and their emotional interactions are familiar territory in Tilghman's work. In "Room for Mistakes," Tilghman revisits Hal and Marcie and the hauntingly beautiful landscape of Montana found in his previous volume of stories, the much-heralded In a Father's Place (LJ 5/15/90). Whether he is writing of wide-open ranches or the Eastern shore, the connection to place is rich and rewarding. A magnificent selection of readings that does not disappoint.--Shannon Williams Haddock, Bellsouth Corporate Lib. & Business Research Ctr., Birmingham, AL Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Rand Richards Cooper
...[R]ichly detailed evocations of rural life....Nature...is always there in these narratives, and not just looking pretty....The grace of a Plains snowstorm, winter dusk settling on a smooth Virginia landscape &3151; these stories offer scenic relief for the distressed and depressed, beautiful places in which they remain, for the most part, beautifully alone.
The New York Times Book Review
Kirkus Reviews
Separation anxiety and strong emotion repressed almost to the point of suffocation are the constants that are analyzed—with sometimes excessive precision—in this otherwise impressive gathering of six carefully crafted stories by the author of an earlier collection, In a Father's Place (1990), and the novel Mason's Retreat (1996). The premises and animating situations are often quite striking here. "The Late Night News," for example, forces a complacent widower and ex-husband into panicked self-doubt when a teenaged burglar ("a messenger from the dark") violates his isolation and security. A husband and father heading home from a job-hunting trip finds in a "ruined" western town (in the moody title story), a chastening reflection of his own unhappy domesticity. "Something Important" about his endangered marriage is revealed to a cautious high-school English teacher by the boorish older brother he disrespects and mistrusts. And a New Englander returned to his late mother's Montana ranch (in "Room for Mistakes") makes peace as best he can with his taciturn, cleareyed stepfather. The mingled intimacy and unknowing we share and suffer as family members are unforgettably dramatized in the best pieces. In "A Suitable Good-bye," thirtysomething freelance consultant Lee travels with his widowed mother and young nephew on a mission to find the grave of her father, who had abandoned his family decades ago—and learns that their journey has been a gesture intended to soothe Lee's own incompletion and loneliness. And the superb "Things Left undone" charts the emotional odyssey of dairy farmer Denny McCready and his wife Susan, their marriage ripped apart when their infant son dies ofinherited cystic fibrosis, then tentatively given the possibility of repair as they labor to forgive each other and themselves. There's a little of Tobias Wolff in Tilghman's rigorous focus on how family concerns define us and haunt us. The way his people run occasionally feels contrived, but in his best stories we feel deeply for them and wish them safely home again.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780679449713
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 4/20/1999
  • Edition description: 1 ED
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 209
  • Product dimensions: 5.89 (w) x 8.65 (h) x 0.92 (d)

Meet the Author

Christopher Tilghman is a recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Whiting Writer's Award, and the Ingram Merrill Foundation Award. His fiction has appeared in The New Yorker and other magazines. He lives in Massachusetts with his wife, the writer Caroline Preston, and their three sons.
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Table of Contents

Something Important 3
Room for Mistakes 37
The Late Night News 79
A Suitable Good-bye 103
The Way People Run 139
Things Left Undone 173
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