Keepsakes & Other Stories

Front Cover
Minnesota Historical Society, Oct 1, 2009 - Fiction - 118 pages
1 Review
From Publishers Weekly
These seven gentle tales set in Minnesota and North Dakota and all written during the 1970s treat fans of novelist Hassler (A Green Journey; Jemmy) to the earliest fruits of his talent. Some are folksy portraits of small-town characters, while others are drier and more plot driven. Both the title story and "Resident Priest" feature crusty, 74-year-old Father Fogarty, a pastor who's leaving his parish after 23 years. In "Chief Larson," a seven-year-old Indian boy, known (rather improbably) only as "chief" on the reservation, rebels in a small but telling way against his white adoptive family. "Good News in Culver Bend" tracks two city reporters who travel to a small town and discover "the heart of Christmas." "Chase" and "Christopher, Moony, and the Birds" show how frustrated residents of small towns seek solace. The former, so brief it's nearly a prose poem, hints at Hassler's own adolescent discovery of his talent for fiction; the latter follows a lonely 50-year-old college professor as he goes on a consolatory walk with a student's awkward wife and child, watching "birds on family outings, hopping and halting on the grass." The cleverest story, "Yesterday's Garbage," follows a "garbologist" who finds the truth about a murder in a trash bin, and is then led to commit one himself. The publisher plans to issue Hassler's later short fiction in three more volumes, starting in the year 2000. (Sept.)

 

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--This text refers to the Hardcover edition. 

 
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - TimBazzett - LibraryThing

I've never met a Jon Hassler book I didn't like, and I've read at least a dozen by now. This limited printing (and signed) first edition of a rather rare Hassler animal - short stories - was a most ... Read full review

Contents

Chase
19
Keepsakes
35
Resident Priest
61
Chief Larson
80
Good News in Culver Bend
101
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About the author (2009)

Author Jon Hassler was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota on March 30, 1933. He received his bachelor's degree from St. John's University in 1955 before going on to the University of North Dakota for his master's degree. After graduating from college, he taught high school English for the next 10 years. In 1970, while teaching at Brainerd Community College, he became interested in writing fictional stories. Hassler's first novel, Staggerford, a story of a small-town school teacher, was chosen Novel of the Year in 1978 by the Friends of American Writers. In 1987, Hassler's fifth novel, Grand Opening, a tale told from the point of view of a twelve-year-old boy living in the corrupt town of Plainview, Minnesota, won the Best Fiction Award, given by the Society of Midland Authors. Granted honorary Doctor of Letters degrees by Assumption College, the University of North Dakota, and the University of Notre Dame, he has also received fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation and the Minnesota State Arts Board. He died, after years of suffering from progressive supranuclear palsy, on March 20, 2008.

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