Wanting Only to be Heard

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Univ of Massachusetts Press, 1992 - Fiction - 191 pages
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The stories in this memorable collection explore the rigors of life in northern Michigan, a harsh terrain where winters linger, marriages often fail, and the emotional climate can be as severe as the physical one. Jack Driscoll writes about ordinary working-class people struggling to get along as best they can. With remarkable control, he portrays the uncertainty and impulsiveness of boys on the edge of manhood, the loneliness of women cut off from their families, and the ambivalence and anger of men who have come to see that love is neither simple nor secure.
In the title story, three boys in the dead of winter test their theory that it should be possible to swim underwater from one ice-fishing hole to the next. In "Pig and Lobsters" a son watches his father plan a fancy dinner for a date who never arrives, the father's anticipation turning to rage as the evening unfolds. "August Sales" tells the story of a census worker with a chronic sleepwalking disorder who is haunted by his wife's decision to leave him. The protagonist of "Devotion," a woman recovering from dental surgery, finds herself holding a gun on a young intruder who has broken into her house. In each story, Driscoll masterfully conveys the fragility of human contact and the complex topography of the heart.
 

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WANTING ONLY TO BE HEARD

User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

The latest winner of the Associated Writing Programs Award for Short Fiction, about working-class fathers and sons: a collection of 17 stories—hard-luck fiction with a vengeance—set mostly in ... Read full review

Selected pages

Contents

Wanting Only to Be Heard
3
Pig and Lobsters
18
The Tryout
23
Death Parts
35
Flea to Jesus
45
The Season of Families
59
The Wilderness State
68
August Sales
75
Fugitive
97
Payment
103
From Here to There
115
Wish Pennies
129
Miss Dunn
140
Land Tides
147
Killing Time
158
Bud and Goliath in the Batting Cage
172

Devotion
87

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About the author (1992)

Jack Driscoll is the author of Waiting Only to Be Heard, winner of the PEN/Nelson Algren Short Fiction Award, and is also a poet. He lives in northern Michigan with his wife and teaches at the Interlochen Center for the Arts.

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