Quake by Nance Van Winckel

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 2 Critic Reviews



Quake \kwþk\ vi quaked; quak-ing: to shake or vibrate usually from shock or instability.

Unforeseen and unavoidable shocks not only alter our lives but send tremors into the futures of many others. In this intriguing collection of five individual yet interconnected stories, Nance Van Winckel chronicles the ripple effects that one life or action can have on the lives of many seemingly unrelated people.

Held together by a wealth of images, items, and ideals, these tantalizing tales join Sara, Fritz, Maria, Stevie, Nona, Claudia, and Sam as one. An earthquake appears in each story, reminding us that beneath the surface, all is tumult, molten, flux. And while each quake sings of life's unpredictability and precariousness, it is joined by familiar imagesþplayer pianos, brass doorknobs, and movie postersþwhich fall away, often to return, altered.

The role of Gypsies, apparently inconsequential at first, grows to become a unifying voice. When Sara loses her hands after a freak accident in "Ever After," she encounters two Gypsy sisters whose scandalous family affairs permeate the rest of the book. In "Hearsay," Fritz, an out-of-work ventriloquist, is haunted by a failed love affair with a Gypsy woman thirty-four years past, and the son he never knew. In the final story of the collection, "Taking Leave," the artist Sam leaves his old life behind to start over again, while his wife seeks solace among a group of intriguing women who help her begin anew.

A tapestry of interwoven destinies, of loves lost and lives rediscovered, Quake will pull the reader deep into the intensity of Van Winckel's fictive world.


About Nance Van Winckel

See more books from this Author
Nance Van Winckel is the author ofLimited Lifetime Warranty: Storiesand two collections of poetry,Bad Girl, with HawkandThe Dirt.She teaches in the graduate creative writing program at Eastern Washington University.
Published April 10, 1997 by University of Missouri. 168 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Quake

Kirkus Reviews

See more reviews from this publication

In ``Ever After,'' a divorcÇe struck by lightning loses her hands, and is shrewdly counseled about her future by two old gypsy women in her convalescent home--they happen to be aunts of the girl from ``Hearsay.'' Meanwhile, in ``Whatever Shines,'' the sister-in- law of the tragic gypsy from ``Hea...

| Read Full Review of Quake: Stories

Publishers Weekly

See more reviews from this publication

A rich conceit loosely links the five stories in Van Winckel's new collection (after Limited Lifetime Warranty): in each tale, an earthquake occurs.

| Read Full Review of Quake: Stories

Rate this book!

Add Review