In this revised edition of his classic 1983 short story collection, Michael Henson is at the height of his poetic and storytelling powers. All the neo-Gothic Faulknerian themes are updated here (think Jayne Anne Phillips or Lee Smith): the betrayals of family, alcoholism, drug addiction, sexual passion, and devastating poverty. From the caged violence of urban streets to the struggle for subsistence in the rural outback, Henson brings his eye and ear for detail to bear on trampled persimmons and greased ball bearings, on haunting wails of trains, trucks and cars. Battered by the socioeconomic conditions into which they are born, buoyed and betrayed by the cultural traditions they inherit, Henson's characters stumble through their lives, bewildered, frustrated, angry but also, in the end, defiant. And in that, they affirm, however belatedly, their indomitable humanity. -Tyrone Williams, author of Adventures of Pi: Poems
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