This beautiful collection of interconnected stories knits together into a novel-like whole that paints a vivid portrait of rural American life in an unflinchingly naturalistic yet subtly poetic style; something like Bobbie Anne Mason crossed with William Faulkner. A sample: "Even the milkweed and briars that skirted our borrowed house keeled over in disgrace."— From Jonathan's Picks
Because these short stories comprise a suite, they should be read in order, just as, say, the parts of a Bach Suite for Unaccompanied Cello should be heard serially. There's huge variety among these stories and significant silences between them. Gayle Hanratty's use of form recreates the very way we both experience and remember our lives. Defined moments, snatched from the flow of time, create vibrant and significant meaning. While Hanratty's suite of stories has caught time on the wing, each moment and each individual story digs its toes into the real earth. These stories have the toughness and truth-telling of authentic tenderness extended toward our human condition.
About the Author
Gray Hampton is Gayle Hanratty's first book. Her short stories have appeared in Monkscript, The Louisville Review, and Trajectory, where she was co-winner of their inaugural short story contest. Gayle lives in Louisville with her husband George. She is a graduate and retired staff member of Spalding University's low-residency MFA in Writing program. In addition to writing, she creates terrariums in tribute to the forest floor.