One is tempted, in describing Douglas Ramspeck’s new collection, to use the word ‘unflinching’—and indeed, these fictions tackle crises that might tempt many to avert their gaze: dead, missing, or decamped fathers, tragic accidents, romantic disappointment, childhood trauma, awkward aftermaths of all kinds. The problem is that ‘unflinching’ gives the viewer, or the writer, special credit for not looking away. But flinching is for those who have a choice, and the characters in these spare, close-to-the-bone stories do not. What Ramspeck succeeds in here is to show us, in poignant, lyrical, but never fussy prose, what everyday fortitude looks like, what it’s like to look hardship straight in its eye and keep pressing on. These are flawed, sympathetic, fully human characters, and this is a sad, dark, terrific book.
—Michael Griffith, Trophy and Bibliophilia
Resonant and lyrical tales of the dangers and frustrations of life at all ages. —Kirkus Reviews One Gerard character says that “childhood is a dangerous country, and not all of us...
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