American Salvage: Stories

Front Cover
Wayne State University Press, 2009 - Fiction - 170 pages
41 Reviews
"New from award-winning Michigan writer Bonnie Jo Campbell, American Salvage is rich with local color and peopled with rural characters who love and hate extravagantly. They know how to fix cars and washing machines, how to shoot and clean game, and how to cook up methamphetamine, but they have not figured out how to prosper in the twenty-first century. Through the complex inner lives of working-class characters, Campbell illustrates the desperation of post-industrial America, where wildlife, jobs, and whole ways of life go extinct and the people have no choice but to live off what is left behind. The harsh Michigan winter is the backdrop for many of the tales, which are at turns sad, brutal, and oddly funny. One man prepares for the end of the world--scheduled for midnight December 31, 1999--in a pole barn with chickens and survival manuals. An excruciating burn causes a man to transcend his racist and sexist worldview. Another must decide what to do about his meth-addicted wife, who is shooting up on the other side of the bathroom door. A teenaged sharpshooter must devise a revenge that will make her feel whole again. Though her characters are vulnerable, confused, and sometimes angry, they are also resolute. Campbell follows them as they rebuild their lives, continue to hope and dream, and love in the face of loneliness."--Publisher's website.
  

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - porch_reader - LibraryThing

I've read two of Bonnie Jo Campbell's novels ([Once Upon a River] and [Q Road]) and loved them both. But with this collection of short stories, her talent and range are even more evident. The stories ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Hebephrene - LibraryThing

I'm surprised this got a National Book award nomination because there is nothing outstanding about it. It's well written, if a little conservative. And the tales are unremittingly grim. I think only ... Read full review

Selected pages

Contents

THE TRESPASSER
1
THE YARD MAN
5
WORLD OF GAS
33
THE INVENTOR 1972
39
THE SOLUTIONS TO BRIANS PROBLEM
52
THE BURN
56
FAMILY REUNION
73
WINTER LIFE
84
BRINGING BELLE HOME
92
FALLING
107
KING COLES AMERICAN SALVAGE
114
STORM WARNING
131
FUEL FOR THE MILLENNIUM
144
BOAR TAINT
151
Acknowledgments
169
Copyright

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About the author (2009)

Bonnie Jo Campbell is the author of three previous books of fiction including "American Salvage", a National Book Award and National Book Critics Circle Award finalist. She lives in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

Bibliographic information