A Room of Rain by Gary Fincke

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In this delightful, though unsettling, story collection, Fincke’s protagonists project themselves into others’ minds, a zombie’s, for instance. By doing this, they learn what they could become under different circumstances...Readers are in capable hands when they read his wise, wonderful stories.
-Star Tribune

Synopsis


The narratives throughout Gary Fincke’s sixth collection of short stories contain newsworthy events that are chronicled secondhand: the shooting of a policeman, the murder of a house flipper, the firing of a teacher for punching a violent student, the accidental drowning of a gay man in a flood, and a fire somewhat accidently set by a juvenile smoker in a school.


Despite these surprising events, the narrator of each story is an ordinary person caught up in the action but preoccupied by other things, whether zombie movies, collecting unusual words, the oddity of other people’s sexual habits, or what to do in retirement. 


These shocking incidents become both central and peripheral to the narrative, as Fincke portrays the fluctuating emotions and self-protective reflections of fathers, sons, and husbands, creating a world where individuals rarely understand each other, yet still arrive at moments of compassion, tolerance, perseverance, and familial love.


 

About Gary Fincke

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Gary Fincke is the Writers Institute Director and Charles Degenstein Professor of English and Creative Writing at Susquehanna University. Winner of the 2003 Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction, the 2003 Ohio State University/The Journal Poetry Prize, and the 2010 Stephen F. Austin Poetry Prize for recent collections, he has published twenty-four books of poetry, short fiction, and nonfiction, most recently The History of Permanence, The Canals of Mars: A Memoir, The Fire Landscape, Sorry I Worried You, and Amp’d: A Father’s Backstage Pass, a nonfiction account of his son’s life as a rock guitarist in the band Breaking Benjamin. His work has appeared in such periodicals as Harper’s, Newsday, The Paris Review, The Kenyon Review, The Georgia Review, Ploughshares, American Scholar, and Doubletake, and has been read by Garrison Keillor on NPR. He has twice been awarded Pushcart Prizes for his work, including “The Canals of Mars,” which was reprinted in The Pushcart Essays, an anthology of the best nonfiction published during the first twenty-five years of the Pushcart Prize volumes. He has been recognized by Best American Stories and the O. Henry Prize series, and cited eleven times in the past thirteen years for a “Notable Essay” in Best American Essays.  Gary Fincke grew up near Pittsburgh and currently lives in central Pennsylvania.
 
Published March 1, 2015 by Vandalia Press. 258 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction
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Star Tribune

Above average
Reviewed by Anthony Bukoski on May 01 2015

In this delightful, though unsettling, story collection, Fincke’s protagonists project themselves into others’ minds, a zombie’s, for instance. By doing this, they learn what they could become under different circumstances...Readers are in capable hands when they read his wise, wonderful stories.

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