By Lee K. Abbott
Listed here are tales approximately fathers and sons, tales approximately women and men, and tales concerning the relationships among males by means of considered one of our such a lot proficient tale writers. The narrator of "The Who, the What and the Why," starts breaking into his personal condominium as a kind of treatment after his daughter dies. In "The Human Use of Inhuman Beings," the most personality realizes that his closest dating is to an angel, who seems to him in basic terms to announce the loss of life of family. All issues, All at Once reminds us why Lee okay. Abbott is to be precious: his excellent pitch for stories of hapless Southwesterners, his method with sympathetic irony, his eye that skillfully notes the awkward humiliations—common heartbreak, fractured families—and documents all of it in lyrical, affectionate language. In stories new and from prior collections Abbott examines lived lifestyles and the lies we inevitably inform approximately it.
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Extra resources for All Things, All at Once: New and Selected Stories
With your warrior’s feathers downsloped at the back of your head, those white sheaves formed like a shield overlaying your breast, your gray-blue cast, the dark tail feathers——do you wear wolves’ tails about your ankles and dance in clearings in the woods when your blood is running? I wonder where you have fought warrior. Where! You retreat beneath your cowl, spread wings, rise, drift upriver as silent as winter trees. I follow you. You have caught me with your reticence. I will listen to whatever they say about you, what anyone who has seen you wishes to offer——and I will return to call across the river to you, to conﬁrm or deny.
I went down to the river and saw the place where he went into the water. The ground was soft around the rocks. I knew his feet. I am not a man of great power, but I took what I had and gave it to him that time, everything I had. “You keep going,” I said. I raised my hands over my head and stepped into the water and shouted it again. ” My heart was pounding like a waterfall. the falls That time after he left he was gone almost ten years again. I had a dream he was living up on those salmon rivers in the north.
While he was up there the dog, Leaves, slept out on some rocks in the Sweetgrass River, where he would not be bothered, and fasted. I came at dawn and then at dusk to look. I could not tell from a distance if he was asleep or dead. Or about the dog. I would only know it was all right because each morning he was in a different position. The fourth morning——I remember this one the best, the sun like ﬁre on the October trees, so many spider webs sunken under the load of dew, the wind in them, as though the trees were breathing——he was gone.