Something is off with Peter Traxler. Born and raised in Mississippi in the last quarter of the 20th century, he is sick with nostalgia at 30 for his upper-middle class upbringing. The stories begin with his sexual initiation in a cotton field and follow him and three close friends as they make their blind way through their 20s, as Peter’s father dies, his friends establish stable adult versions of themselves, and Peter carries himself from one location to another, trying to locate life as a man.
The Portable Son is a collection of linked short stories in the tradition of early Updike, the Michigan-era Hemingway, and Stuart Dybek—stories of sensitive boys bumbling between friends and women. Here the milieu is the contemporary South—but not the South of degenerate freaks and cartoonish rednecks, but rather the polite, well-behaved South, the South of relentless good manners, the South of Polo shirts and thank you notes, the South that no one else writes about.
About Barrett Hathcock
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Published November 24, 2011
by Aqueous Books.
Literature & Fiction.