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Building Fires in the Snow ed. by Martha Amore and Lucian Childs (review)

Building Fires in the Snow ed. by Martha Amore and Lucian Childs (review) lagers must decide whether to aid him. Reaching the taut, expert- ly balanced conclusion, the reader wrestles with the moral conse- quences of their choice. Many of Farmer’s characters are walking wounded. Th e father of “In the Long Shadow of a Winter Morning” cannot adequately explain to his estranged daughter why he deserted their family. Predictably, the daughter is angry and confrontational. Th e reasons for this man’s cold- hearted distance are never made clear— he does not fully understand them himself— yet, in a moving conclusion, father and daughter gradually grow closer. Th e coarse physicality of chopping wood bonds them, “their mutual exhalations merging and rising, disappearing into the crisp Alaskan air” (179). Many times Farmer delivers this much- needed measure of hope, though he is often spare in his serving. Farmer is by turns an experimental writer, challenging genre conventions in “Glass Fragments on the Shoulder of Highway 375,” written as a hybrid story- essay, or “Anniversary,” a story written in a single sentence spanning seven pages. Th ere are also several strong fl ash fi ction pieces sprinkled throughout. Unifying the sto- ries in this diverse collection is that theme of survival, in all http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Western American Literature The Western Literature Association

Building Fires in the Snow ed. by Martha Amore and Lucian Childs (review)

Western American Literature , Volume 52 (4) – Feb 9, 2018

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Publisher
The Western Literature Association
ISSN
1948-7142

Abstract

lagers must decide whether to aid him. Reaching the taut, expert- ly balanced conclusion, the reader wrestles with the moral conse- quences of their choice. Many of Farmer’s characters are walking wounded. Th e father of “In the Long Shadow of a Winter Morning” cannot adequately explain to his estranged daughter why he deserted their family. Predictably, the daughter is angry and confrontational. Th e reasons for this man’s cold- hearted distance are never made clear— he does not fully understand them himself— yet, in a moving conclusion, father and daughter gradually grow closer. Th e coarse physicality of chopping wood bonds them, “their mutual exhalations merging and rising, disappearing into the crisp Alaskan air” (179). Many times Farmer delivers this much- needed measure of hope, though he is often spare in his serving. Farmer is by turns an experimental writer, challenging genre conventions in “Glass Fragments on the Shoulder of Highway 375,” written as a hybrid story- essay, or “Anniversary,” a story written in a single sentence spanning seven pages. Th ere are also several strong fl ash fi ction pieces sprinkled throughout. Unifying the sto- ries in this diverse collection is that theme of survival, in all

Journal

Western American LiteratureThe Western Literature Association

Published: Feb 9, 2018

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