Shelter Half by Carol Bly

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Synopsis

"The real clue to this mystery lies in its title, referring to the half-tent an American infantryman once carried with him to the battlefield, and buttoned to someone else's half for mutual protection: a covert metaphor provisioned with foregiveness and trust."--O, The Oprah Magazine

“Does loving-kindness to friends, family, town, and church cover your complicity in . . . distant wrongs? Carol Bly . . . is fully responsive to the evils done in our name and with our tacit consent.”—Tobias Wolff , in the introduction to My Lord Bag of Rice: New and Selected Stories

“What the reader will remember is Carol Bly’s spiritual and moral intelligence as glimpsed through the valor of these vibrant characters.”—Tess Gallagher, The New York Times Book Review

A young woman’s body lay undisturbed for a week in mid-November.

So begins Shelter Half, a novel about a few people in a northern Minnesota town. Some of them—the town cop, the doctor, and a young couple in love—are smart enough to recognize cruelty that comes at them from huge organizations far outside the town limits. They are not chicken. They don’t duck. If their nation and their world look grisly, they still do what they can for love and justice. They look out for one another. In the end, a retired US Brigadier General brings them a surprise about one of their best-loved townspeople.

Carol Bly (1930-2007) is the author of Letters from the Country, The Tomcat’s Wife, My Lord Bag of Rice: New and Selected Stories, and Changing the Bully Who Rules the World. Her stories have appeared in The Best American Short Stories; several Pushcart Collections, including the twenty-five-year anniversary edition; The New Yorker; Ploughshares; Glimmer Train (May 2008); and other journals. She lived in St. Paul and Sturgeon Lake, Minnesota. Shelter Half is Carol Bly's first and only published novel.

 

About Carol Bly

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Carol Bly is winner of the 2001 Minnesota Humanities Award for Literature, the University of Minnesota's Edelstein-Keller Distinguished Minnesota Author in 1998-99, and the Minnesota Women's Press Favorite Woman Author for 2000. She has an honorary degree from Northland College.
 
Published June 1, 2008 by Holy Cow! Press. 245 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Crime. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Shelter Half

Star Tribune

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A well-told page-turner, steeped in Minnesota character and sensibilities, that reverberates with Bly's trademark wit and sense of outrage.

May 23 2008 | Read Full Review of Shelter Half

Gather Books

For many years American infantrymen were issued a "shelter half," which was half of a pup tent.

Nov 14 2008 | Read Full Review of Shelter Half

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