A sterling collection of short stories from the author of Rule of the Bone and The Sweet Hereafter--his first in almost fifteen years--including six never-before-published works.
One of our most prestigious writers, Russell Banks is a literary icon whose works probe the recesses of the human condition. His novels and stories offer rich portraits that are profound and deeply resonant--appearing regularly in anthologies and collections such as The Best American Short Stories and The PEN/O. Henry Prize Stories. This collection of twelve short works showcases this master at the peak of his intuitive powers. As he did in such works as the classic The Sweet Hereafter, the revered Rule of the Bone, and the haunting Lost Memory of Skin, Banks limns provocative and morally complex themes with pathos and sharp insight. Each of the stories in this powerful collection demonstrates the range and virtuosity of his narrative prowess and startlingly panoramic vision. A Permanent Member of the Family is a stunning addition to the canon of a writer "whose great works resonate with such heart and soul" (Janet Maslin, The New York Times).read more
While well-known for his impressive novelistic output, Banks (Continental Drift) is also a prolific short story writer. This collection, his sixth, is made up of four never-before-published stories. The first, "Former Marine," sets the exhausted, elegiac tone for the book. It features Connie, an aging ex-Marine who refers to himself as "the Retiree," even though he was laid off: "It's the economy's fault. And the fault of whoever the hell's in charge of it." Connie robs banks, badly, to make ends meet, but they (inevitably) don't. In the fine story "Transplant," Howard Blume is recovering from a heart transplant when the deceased donor's wife asks to meet him, to listen (with a stethoscope!) to Blume's new heart. In the most subversive story of the collection, "Snowbirds," a man dies of a heart attack in Florida, where he and his wife are spending the winter. Isabel, his widow, is nonplussed; in fact, she appears somewhat delighted at the prospect of a new life in the sun. While these exquisitely crafted stories are highly personal, they are also permeated by a sense of sadness about the death of the American dream, as the country struggles, out of work and seemingly out of hope. Agent: Ellen Levine, Trident Media Group. (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.