The Source of Life and Other Stories

The Source of Life and Other Stories

by Beth Bosworth

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Overview

From “The Eight Rhetorical Mode”
Later he asked, “Would you like to go for a hike sometime?” and two trains of thought left the station: He means to get to know me and we might leave the city together and it’s been a long time since I climbed a mountain. That train chugged into a wider brighter country all the time. The other train went by another route through the panicked interior. He’s a lunatic, it whistled. He’s been in and out of hospitals. He will take you to a mountaintop and throw you right off into the bright air: choo choo!

Post-divorce dating is one more cause for celebration (or a quick call in to the police) in Beth Bosworth’s revelatory new book, The Source of Life and Other Stories. The spine of this collection is a series of linked stories about Ruth Stein, a Brooklyn author whose first book has exposed her father’s abuses; while the voice here, speaking across a lifetime, ranges from bittersweet to humorous to lethal. In other stories Bosworth’s narrators—a mother left to care for her son’s suicidal dog, an editor haunted by a dog-eared manuscript—seem to grab hold of the reins and run off with their fates. Meanwhile Bosworth explores the extended family, the bonds of friendship, an apocalyptic Vermont, the rank yet redeemable Gowanus Canal; also rites of passage, race relations, divorce, middle-aged romance, dementia, funerals, alcoholism, and the Jewish religion. Reality is just another stumbling block for Bosworth’s characters, who might help themselves but don’t always choose to. There are leaps of faith here, nonetheless, as the collection dispenses a kind of narrative psychotropic for survival and redemption, with a chaser of humor mixed in.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780822978466
Publisher: University of Pittsburgh Press
Publication date: 09/24/2012
Series: Drue Heinz Literature Prize Series
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 218
File size: 995 KB

About the Author

Beth Bosworth has taught at the New School for Social Research, CUNY’s NYC Technical College, and for many years at Saint Ann’s School in Brooklyn, where she is also founding editor of the Saint Ann's Review. Her publications include a novel, Tunneling, and a collection of short stories, A Burden of Earth. Her stories have appeared in the Kenyon Review, the Seneca Review, Forward, IMAGE, Hanging Loose, Guernica, and elsewhere.

Table of Contents

Contents The Source of Life Promise The Eighth Rhetorical Mode Angelo The News from Home The Year the World Turned Conspiracy With Thee Conversing Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge Fortune Tellers A Handful of Days A Burden Is Also a Song Promise II Cacoethes Scribendi The Enterprise North Brother Island The First Slow One Tell Me Again Lucky Dog Growth Linguist in the Family We Nod to One Another and Turn Around Acknowledgments

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