The Out-of-Sorts by Gary Fincke
New and Selected Stories

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Fincke is a patient, precise and wise reader of human nature, both in its depravity and its nobility. Thankfully, he’s also very funny.
-Star Tribune


The new and selected stories in this collection, written over a period of thirty years, are firmly entrenched in the culture and people of rust belt cities and rural Appalachia.
These stories are often set against large, significant events like the Cold War, Vietnam, and the Kent State shootings, but are always uniquely local. A mother fends off the police by brandishing copperhead snakes. A woman cares for the dog of an alleged double murderer. A husband who has lost his job works at trying to save his wife from a debilitating phobia.
This extensive collection by Gary Fincke, an accomplished poet and writer of fiction, gives rise to ordinary people living lives made fascinating by attention to the particulars of voice, place, and character. With precise language, surprising imagery, and sharp, evocative dialogue, these stories deepen beyond the oddities of their characters, who are scarred and defeated by circumstance and choice, but also attain moments of grace, compassion, and generosity of the spirit.

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 November 1, 2017 by Vandalia Press. 344 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction
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Star Tribune

Reviewed by Anthony Bukoski on Dec 22 2017

Fincke is a patient, precise and wise reader of human nature, both in its depravity and its nobility. Thankfully, he’s also very funny.

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