News from the Volcano by Gladys Swan

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News from the Volcano is a collection of five poignant stories about wanderers and outsiders, people searching for an unnamed something that is missing from their lives. Set in the Southwest, a landscape of vivid contrasts and powerful forces, the stories unravel the struggles of these who find themselves in extreme situations, looking and listening desperately for whatever might save them from self-destruction.

"Gate of Ivory, Gate of Horn" introduces Rachel Lerner, a young girl growing up in a Jewish family from the East that, lured by dreams of success, has resettled in New Mexico near the end of World War II. The household is overshadowed by the mother's unhappiness in an isolated mountain town amid people she finds raw and by the father's mounting suspicions that his business associate is stealing from him. Rachel must weave a path for herself through the conflicting emotions of her parents while also recognizing and confronting the forces at play in the larger world.

In "Sloan's Daughter" the protagonist confronts the spiritual emptiness of his political aspirations as they are shaped by the corruption of the past. The rebellious young daughter forces Sloan to recognize the questionable history of his family's manipulative and reckless pursuit of personal gain. In the title story, Lupe is faced with a violent death, but refuses to acquiesce to the chain of violence surrounding that confrontation.

All of the characters are crafted with the remarkable realism readers have come to expect from Gladys Swan. The stories are gripping and their resolutions powerful. Taking the reader on tough journeys through rough country, both physically and psychologically, News from the Volcano is a masterful collection by an exceptional writer.


About Gladys Swan

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Romance author Jayne Ann Krentz was born in Borrego Springs, California on March 28, 1948. She received a B.A. in history from the University of California at Santa Cruz and a Masters degree in library science from San Jose State University. Before becoming a full-time author, she worked as a librarian. Her novels include: Truth or Dare, All Night Long, and Copper Beach. She has written under seven different names: Jayne Bentley, Amanda Glass, Stephanie James, Jayne Taylor, Jayne Castle, Amanda Quick and Jayne Ann Krentz. Her first book, Gentle Pirate, was published in 1980 under the name Jayne Castle. She currently uses only three personas to represent her three specialties. She uses the name Jayne Ann Krentz for her contemporary pieces, Amanda Quick for her historical fiction pieces, and Jayne Castle for her futuristic pieces. She has received numerous awards for her work including the 1995 Romantic Times Reviewer's Choice Award for Trust Me, the 2004 Romantic Times Reviewer's Choice Award for Falling Awake, the Romantic Times Career Achievement Award, the Romantic Times Jane Austen Award, and the Susan Koppelman Award for Feminist Studies for Dangerous Men and Adventurous Women: Romance Writers on the Appeal of the Romance.
Published August 10, 2000 by University of Missouri. 208 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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In "Sloan's Daughter," middle-aged banker Tom Sloan is trapped between his daughter's reckless life and his powerful father's reputation.

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Publishers Weekly

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Young Rachel Goldman, the pivot of the tale, grows up to understand the world in small pieces, trying to work out the hidden rules by which the town's kids, teens and adults live.

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