Back in the World: Stories

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Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, Feb 16, 2011 - Fiction - 224 pages
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To American soldiers in Vietnam, "back in the world" meant America and safety. To Tobias Wolff's characters, Back in the World is where lives that have veered out of control just might become normal again. Unfortunately, the men and women in these gripping, pungent, and wonderfully skewed stories have only the vaguest notion of what normal is. A gentle priest finds himself in a Vegas hotel with a hysterical, sun-burned stranger. A show-biz hopeful undergoes a dubious audition in a hearse speeding across the California desert. An aging soldier is distracted from a night of philandering by a gun-toting neighbor and a suicidal enlisted man. As he moves among these unfortunates, Wolff observes the disparity between their realities and their dreams, in ten stories of exhilarating lucidity and grace.

Stories included are: "The Missing Person," "Say Yes," "The Poor Are Always With Us," "Sister," "Soldier's Joy," "Desert Breakdown," "Our Story Begins," "Leviathan," and "The Rich Brother."

"Terrific...The magic of his fiction cannot be explained. It is the ancient art of the master storyteller."--Tim O'Brien

From the Trade Paperback edition.

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Back in the world: stories

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

LJ's reviewer hailed Wolff's collection of short stories as "a brilliant examination of life for those who can stand its grimness" (LJ 10/15/85). Read full review

Back in the world: stories

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Readers of Wolff's first short-story vol ume, In the Garden of the North Ameri can Martyrs , and his recent, award- winning The Barracks Thief will not be disappointed by this new collection. Wolff ... Read full review

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About the author (2011)

Tobias Wolff lives in Northern California and teaches at Stanford University. He has received the Rea Award for excellence in the short story, a Los Angeles Times Book Prize, and the PEN/Faulkner Award.

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