Mark Maynard’s debut collection of linked short stories examines the characters of a town whose means and meanings are eroding away. In Grind, a homeless man wins the jackpot—and a large stack of pancakes (“Jackpot”); a prison inmate trains a horse toward life beyond the gates (“Penned”); a truck driver with the IQ of a child drives his empty rig up and down the interstate as an homage to his dead mother (“Deadheading”); a topless teen sunbathes on her roof as fighter planes careen overhead (“Sirens”); a grieving woman stores her breast milk behind the frozen peas (“Letdown”); and a pawnshop owner catalogues his wares by the natures of their violent pasts (“Trading Up”). In these stories, pleasure is cheap, heartbreak is a given, the past is dwindling away and the future is unsettlingly uncertain.
TAHOE BLUES Anthology
Edited by Kim Wyatt
Bona Fide Books has collected sixty short works of flash fiction and true tales, polished like glacial granite to reveal the depths of the lake we love. Each piece is no more than five hundred words like the pea-sized gold nugget sifted out of the Upper Truckee, tiny but priceless. Short enough to be read on the lift or in line for a latte, Tahoe Blues offers instant clarity into the lake of the sky.
The Films of Clint Eastwood: Critical Perspectives
Edited by Matt Wanat and Leonard Engel
The indefatigable Clint Eastwood, the great old man of American film, is still controversial after all these years. Many of the critical essays in this collection focus on Eastwood's 2014 American Sniper, a particularly controversial film and a devastating personal account of the horrors of war. Additional essays within the collection address his films that deserve more recognition than they have received to date.
The chapters vary by topic and identify themes ranging from aging, race, and gender to uses of Western conventions and myth to the subtleties of quieter themes and stylistic choices in Eastwood's body of cinematic work. As a collection, these essays show that none of these themes account for Eastwood's entire vision, which is multifaceted and often contradictory, dramatizing complex issues in powerful, character-driven narratives.