“Richard Wiley is one of our best writers. These stories satisfy in the way that brilliant short fiction always satisfies; one feels as if one has absorbed the expansive vision and drama of a novel. Read slowly, and I bet you’ll want to read again.” Richard Bausch, author of Peace and Living in the Weather of the World
“It’s a strange and winsome feeling I have, reading Tacoma Stories, the blue sensation that Richard Wiley has made me homesick for a place I’ve never been, mourning the loss of friends I never had, in a life where each and every one of us is loved, however imperfectly. Think Sherwood Anderson inhabiting Raymond Carver’s Northwest and you’ll have a clear picture of Wiley’s accomplishment.” Bob Shacochis, author of Easy in the Islands and The Woman Who Lost Her Soul
On St. Patrick’s Day in 1968, sixteen people sit in Pat’s Tavern, drink green beer, flirt, rib each other, and eventually go home in (mostly) different directions. In the stories that follow, which span 1958 to the present, Richard Wiley pops back into the lives of this colorful cast of characterssometimes into their pasts, sometimes into their futuresand explores the ways in which their individual narratives indelibly weave together. At the heart of it all lies Tacoma, Washington, a town full of eccentricities and citizens as unique as they are universal. The Tacoma of Tacoma Stories might be harboring paranoid former CIA operatives and wax replicas of dead husbands, but it is also a place with all the joys and pains one could find in any town, anytime and anywhere.
Richard Wiley is the author of eight novels including Bob Stevenson; Soldiers in Hiding, winner of the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction and the Washington State Book Award; and Ahmed’s Revenge, winner of the Maria Thomas Fiction Award. Professor emeritus at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, he divides his time between Los Angeles, California, and Tacoma, Washington.
|Publisher:||Bellevue Literary Press|
|Product dimensions:||4.90(w) x 7.40(h) x 0.80(d)|
About the Author
Richard Wiley is the author of Tacoma Stories and eight novels including Bob Stevenson; Soldiers in Hiding, winner of the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction and the Washington State Book Award; and Ahmed’s Revenge, winner of the Maria Thomas Fiction Award. A graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and professor emeritus at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, he divides his time between Los Angeles, California, and Tacoma, Washington.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Tacoma Stories by Richard Wiley is a very highly recommended collection of fourteen interconnected short stories set in Tacoma, Washington. The first story, set in Pat’s Tavern in Tacoma on St. Patrick’s Day in 1968, introduces the sixteen characters and their connections to each other. "So we were Pat, Fatty, Paddy, Vivian, Sari, Hani, Lars and Immy, Jonathan from Yale, Becky Welles, Ralph the English teacher, Lindy the convict’s ex, Andy, Earl, and Mary and I [Richie]. Sixteen characters in search of a play on Saint Patrick’s Day, 1968." The stories are set in different time periods, from the past up to the present, and include at least one of these characters. Pay attention to the date when the story is set, as they do not follow a linear timeline. Several of the characters recur in several stories, with even a mention, which further ties the collection together as a complete narrative and facilitates the character development. The extended timeline, covering a large portion of the lives of these characters, allows the stories, as a whole, to establish a realistic look at how life doesn't normally turn out how you have planned. All of these characters have struggled in one way or another to survive to the present day and the stories help highlight some of the bumps along the way. This is a very well-written and offbeat collection that is best read as a whole, in one sitting, if possible, in order to keep track of all the characters and retain their stories fresh in your mind. It will also assist you in catching all the connections between them over the years. Some of the stories are humorous, with situations that are memorable and absurd. While the narratives are all strong individual stories, presented together as a whole they create a masterful collection and reflection on life over the decades. Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of Bellevue Literary Press.