Here Beneath Low-Flying Planes

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University of Iowa Press, Oct 1, 2004 - Fiction - 138 pages
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The stories in Merrill Feitell’s award-winning collection, Here Beneath Low-Flying Planes, examine the fleeting and unexpected moments of human connection, reminding us of the indelible impact we have on one another no matter how insignificant or anonymous we might feel under our huge, collective sky.

Feitell’s characters deal with shifting dynamics in relationships—whether they be best friends, lovers, family, or even strangers—that consistently leave them torn between two places or commitments. In the title story, Janie has undergone a painful childbirth experience and her group of friends must pioneer new dynamics while she wonders how to bring her old self back. In “Bike New York!” amid thirty thousand cyclists, a man on the brink of marriage meets a young girl who, in a tiny Brooklyn bakery, affirms both who he has been and who he is going to be. On this short detour from normal life he comes to understand “the funny thing about finding your way in the world. There was a place laid out for you . . . and even as you stepped into it, happy for the chance to rest, you wondered how you ever ended up there.”

Funny, big-hearted, and deft, Here Beneath Low-Flying Planes navigates the reader through the life that happens when you’re planning other things. It is a collection of experiences, roads not taken, and the intense and unforeseen sparks of connection we hope for.

 

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Contents

It Couldnt Be More Beautiful
1
Bike New York
19
The Marrying Kind
34
The Dumpling King
46
And Then You Stand Up
58
Our Little Lone Star
73
Such a Big Mr England
92
Here Beneath LowFlying Planes
106
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About the author (2004)

Merrill Feitell, a native New Yorker, received her MFA from Columbia University in 2000, was the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference’s Margaret Bridgman Fellow in Fiction in 2003, and was chosen as one of Fiction’s New Luminaries by the Virginia Quarterly Review. Her fiction has been published in Book Magazine, Glimmer Train, and the Best New American Voices 2000. She currently resides in Brooklyn.

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