At the age of 17, Randall Hunsacker shoots his mother's boyfriend, steals a car and comes close to killing himself. His second chance lies in a small Nebraska farm town, where the landmarks include McKibben's Mobil Station, Frmka's Superette, and a sign that says The Wages of Sin is Hell. This is Goodnight, a place so ingrown and provincial that Randall calls it "Sludgeville"-until he starts thinking of it as home. In this pitch-perfect novel, Tom McNeal explores the currents of hope, passion, and cruelty beneath the surface of the American heartland. In Randall, McNeal creates an outcast whose redemption lies in Goodnight, a strange, small, but ultimately embracing community where Randall will inspire fear and adulation, win the love of a beautiful girl and nearly throw it all away.
The Midwest has produced a robust literary heritage. Its authors have won half of the nation’s Nobel Prizes for Literature plus a significant number of Pulitzer Prizes. This volume explores the rich racial, ethnic, and cultural diversity of the region. It also contains entries on 35 pivotal Midwestern literary works, literary genres, literary, cultural, historical, and social movements, state and city literatures, literary journals and magazines, as well as entries on science fiction, film, comic strips, graphic novels, and environmental writing. Prepared by a team of scholars, this second volume of the Dictionary of Midwestern Literature is a comprehensive resource that demonstrates the Midwest’s continuing cultural vitality and the stature and distinctiveness of its literature.
O Pioneers! was oh so long ago, and yet Willa Cather's masterpiece has proven to be an enduring template for readers' notions of Nebraska writing. The short stories collected here, so richly various in style, theme, and subject matter, should put an end to any such plain thinking about writing from this anything-but-plain state. Nebraska writers all, the authors explore the Midwest, a vastness of small towns, corn, cattle, football, and family businesses. They also venture far afield, to desolate western lives, crowded urban relationships, poignant couplings, comic families, and the worldly idiosyncrasies of characters everywhere. Whether about aging or coming-of-age, leave-taking or coming home, falling apart or finding love, these stories represent contemporary fiction at its best, from the high style of Richard Dooling's "Immortal Man" to Kent Haruf's soft-spoken "Dancing," from Ron Hansen's "My Communist" to Jonis Agee's earthy, offbeat "Binding the Devil." Original, spirited, and surprising, these contemporary writings depict a modern world on the move and extend the tradition of great fiction from Nebraska into the twenty-first century.
For you, I was a chapter-a good chapter maybe, or even your favorite chapter, but, still, just a chapter-and for me, you were the book.' Judith Whitman believes in the sort of love that 'picks you up in Akron, Ohio, and sets you down in Rio de Janeiro'. But she married more pragmatically. Before her marriage to a banker, before her career as a film editor in Los Angeles, Judith was 17 and living in Nebraska, where she met Willy Blunt, a carpenter whose pale blue eyes and easy smile awakened in Judith the reckless girl he alone imagined her to be. Marrying Willy seemed a natural thing to promise. But a violent episode followed by acceptance to a prestigious university carried Judith away. Twenty years later, Judith's sturdy-seeming marriage is suddenly hazy with secrets, and her thoughts drift back to the time when she and Willy had escaped to a small world where sunlight seemed always to fall from a softer angle. What happens now when she holds in her hand the number for the man who believed it, long ago, when she declared her love?
Includes, beginning Sept. 15, 1954 (and on the 15th of each month, Sept.-May) a special section: School library journal, ISSN 0000-0035, (called Junior libraries, 1954-May 1961). Also issued separately.