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Where I Am Now: Stories

Overview

Fiction. In his new story collection, WHERE WE ARE NOW, Robert Day brings new life to rural Western Kansas. Most of the stories are set in the fictional town of Bly, Kansas, and chronicle the daily life through a diverse set of perspectives ranging from a Russian-nuclear-attack fearing grandmother to a handyman who hunts for skulls along the Whitewoman River. Day closes the book with a story about a Kansan man living for a time in rural France. As Day writes in his preface, "The reason my muse and I like first ...

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Overview

Fiction. In his new story collection, WHERE WE ARE NOW, Robert Day brings new life to rural Western Kansas. Most of the stories are set in the fictional town of Bly, Kansas, and chronicle the daily life through a diverse set of perspectives ranging from a Russian-nuclear-attack fearing grandmother to a handyman who hunts for skulls along the Whitewoman River. Day closes the book with a story about a Kansan man living for a time in rural France. As Day writes in his preface, "The reason my muse and I like first person stories is because together we can be more than ourselves as we tell them. It is as if we are creating a talking family, some of us from one generation and some from another, some adopted, some of dubious parentage."

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In this slim seven-story collection, Pushcart Prize-winner Day puts forth a lyrical and discerning love letter to agrarian living. He highlights the quotidian events which concern those who cultivate these pastoral regions and are in turn cultivated by them. The result is meticulously crafted storytelling filled with all-too human characters often harboring defining secrets, from the widow in "The One-Man Woodcutter" who shoots birds deemed unworthy of her birdfeeder, to the well-intentioned but philandering motel handyman of "The Skull Hunter." All of the stories are told in first-person narration, which bolsters the confessional quality in their portraits of fraught relationships and rural loneliness. In the collection's opener, "My Father Swims His Horse At Last," we are shown a quirky, jocular farmer through the eyes of his baffled son, their affection becoming manifest as they labor on the mostly fallow farm. Only occasionally does Day cross the line into excessive sentimentality, such as in the titular story, which seemingly invokes every stereotype about its romanticized backdrop of provincial France. For the most part, however, Day's prose feels fresh and compelling, making for warmly appealing stories in this, his fourth book and second collection of short fiction. Agent: Rob McQuilkin, Lippincott, Massie, & McQuilkin. (Nov.)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781886157828
  • Publisher: BkMk Press of the University of Missouri-Kansas City
  • Publication date: 11/28/2012
  • Pages: 172
  • Product dimensions: 8.40 (w) x 5.40 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Robert Day's short fiction has received Best American Short Stories and Pushcart Prize citations. Among his awards and fellowships are National Endowment to the Arts, both Yaddo, and McDowell Fellowships, a Maryland Arts Council Award. His fiction has appeared in such places as TriQuarterly, North Dakota Quarterly, and New Letters, and his nonfiction has appeared in The American Scholar, Washington Post Magazine, Smithsonian, and elsewhere. He is the author of the novel The Last Cattle Drive, a Book-of-the- Month Club selection, two novellas, In My Stead and The Four Wheel Drive Quartet, and Speaking French in Kansas, a collection of short stories. He has taught at the Iowa Writers Workshop; University of Kansas; and Montaigne College, University of Bordeaux. He is past president of the Associated Writing Programs; the founder and former director of the Rose O'Neill Literary House; and founder and publisher of the Literary House Press at Washington College where he is an adjunct professor of English literature.

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Table of Contents

Preface 9

My Father Swims His Horse at Last 13

Words Make A Life 53

The One-Man Woodcutter 65

Pan-Kansas Swimming Champion 87

The Skull Hunter 109

Notes on the Cold War in Kansas 129

Where I Am Now 145

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