Refresh, Refresh by Benjamin Percy

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The war in Iraq empties the small town of Tumalo, Oregon, of men—of fathers—leaving their sons to fight among themselves. But the boys’ bravado fades at home when, alone, they check e-mail again and again for word from their fathers at the front.
Often from fractured homes and communities, the young men in these breathless stories do the unthinkable to prove to themselves—to everyone—that they are strong enough to face the heartbreak in this world. Set in rural Oregon with the shadow of the Cascade Mountains hanging over them, these stories bring you face-to-face with a mad bear, a house with a basement that opens up into a cave, a nuclear meltdown that renders the Pacific Northwest into a contemporary Wild West. Refresh, Refresh by Benjamin Percy is a bold, fiery, and unforgettable collection that deals with vital issues of our time.

About Benjamin Percy

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Benjamin Percy has won a Whiting Writers Award, a Plimpton Prize, two Pushcart Prizes, and a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. He is the author of the novel The Wilding (Graywolf Press, 2010) and two short story collections, Refresh, Refresh (Graywolf Press, 2007) and The Language of Elk (Carnegie-Mellon University Press, 2006). His work has appeared in Esquire (where he is a contributing editor), GQ, Time, Men's Journal, Outside, TheWall Street Journal, The Paris Review, Tin House and Best American Short Stories.
Published September 28, 2010 by Graywolf Press. 256 pages
Genres: War, Literature & Fiction, Comics & Graphic Novels. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Refresh, Refresh

Kirkus Reviews

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In two stories, “The Caves in Oregon” and “The Faulty Builder,” death happens in the womb, with troubling consequences for two married couples.

Oct 01 2007 | Read Full Review of Refresh, Refresh: Stories

San Francisco Chronicle

"Refresh, Refresh" concerns two young men whose fathers get shipped off to Iraq with most of the other fathers - "our coaches, our teachers, our barbers, our cooks, our gas-station attendants and UPS deliveryman and deputies and firemen and mechanics - our fathers, so many of them" - in the tiny ...

Nov 28 2007 | Read Full Review of Refresh, Refresh: Stories

Lit Reactor

If you have 21 stories in a collection, and you’re already starting strong and ending strong, why not break up the rest of the collection with your better stories?

Jun 03 2013 | Read Full Review of Refresh, Refresh: Stories

Fiction Writers Review

And refresh, refresh is what I seem to do with this story: reading and relishing and rereading and rerelishing the transformation of character and story, finding bits of myself in these boys and the quiet moments that escalate their lives until they are indistinguishable from their fathers’: …as...

May 23 2011 | Read Full Review of Refresh, Refresh: Stories

Newcity Lit

The importance of a father figure in a young boy’s coming of age is well-known, but what happens when the father is absent—not by choice so much, but instead at war?

Sep 29 2009 | Read Full Review of Refresh, Refresh: Stories

Christianity Today

One of my pet peeves is a short story lacking an ending, which is why I am one of the few who cannot read another Alice Munro story.

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Graphic Novel Reporter

(A movie based on the book is in the works, so the story has hit the trifecta of cultural touchstones.) Refresh, Refresh takes place in rural Oregon.

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