Something Is Out There

Something Is Out There

by Richard Bausch
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Something Is Out There by Richard Bausch

From the prizewinning novelist and world-renowned short-story writer, the author of 2008’s universally acclaimed novel Peace (“A brilliant one-act drama depicting the futility and moral complexity of combat” —The New York Times), eleven indelible new tales that showcase the electrifying artistry of a master.

A husband confronts the power of youth and the inexorable truths of old age. A son sits by his mother’s bedside determined to give her what she needs in her final days, even though doing so means breaking his own heart. A brief adulterous tryst illuminates the fragility of our most intimate relations. A young man returns in the face of crisis to the parents he once rejected. A divorced young woman dealing with slowly increasing despair develops an obsesion about a note that fell from the pocket of a man who came to eat in the café where she works. A wife whose husband has been shot must weather a terrible snowstorm with her two sons, as well as a storm of doubt about the extent of his involvement in a crime.

Richard Bausch’s stories contend with transfixing themes: marital and familial estrangement, ways of trespass, the intractable mysteries and frights of daily life in these times, the uncertainty of knowledge and truth, the gulfs between friends and lovers, the frailty of even the most abiding love—while underlining throughout the persistence of love, the obdurate forces that connect us. His consummate skill, penetrating wit, and unfailing emotional generosity are on glorious display in this fine new collection.

From the Hardcover edition.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780307592880
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 02/09/2010
Sold by: Random House
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 1,142,901
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

Richard Bausch is the author of seven previous volumes of short stories and eleven novels. He is the recipient of an award in literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Lila Wallace–Reader’s Digest Writers’ Award, the PEN/Malamud Award for Short Fiction, and, for his novel Peace, the American Library Association’s W. Y. Boyd Prize for Excellence in Military Fiction and the Dayton Literary Peace Prize. A past chancellor of the Fellowship of Southern Writers, he lives in Memphis, Tennessee, where he holds the Moss Chair of Excellence in the Writers Workshop of the University of Memphis.

From the Hardcover edition.

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Something Is Out There 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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harstan More than 1 year ago
These eleven superb short stories take seemingly inconsequential events that occur on a larger stage like snow storms and floods to argue what is sacred about a relationship. Using a sort of butterfly effect Richard Bausch leaves his audience pondering whether it is better to not love than lose freedom as relationships require ceding something and fail to last anyway as constant compromise or accession becomes the norm. All the entries are well written although some have appeared in other publications. Especially superb are "Reverend Thornhill's Wife" who has a great caring spouse but remains so unhappy she takes an Internet stranger to their bed; "Byron the Lyron" who only loves his dying octogenarian mother as does his former boyfriend; and "Blood" as a younger brother obsesses over his sister-in-law. Metaphoric symbolism abound as nature is meant to be loose and wild not fundamentally churched as in "Sixty-five Million Years" while power outages is the norm for those trying to maintain a relationship as told in "Son and Heir" and the title tale. Readers will appreciate the profound look at the evanescent "One Hour in the History of Love" as Mr. Bausch makes a strong case that to err is human; to relate is divinely impossible. Harriet Klausner