The Smallest People Alive by Keith Banner

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In The Smallest People Alive, Keith Banner writes about people and situations many times ignored by other fiction writers. These are stories focused on lives outside the mainstream, and yet they are invested with precision, tenderness and artistry. The title story, awarded an O. Henry Prize, chronicles the lives of two boyhood friends, one who is recovering from a suicide attempt, the other trying to figure out how he can help. In their stumbling allegiance to each other, they find a sort of solace, and as the story reaches its conclusion, the reader is given an intimate view of what it means to wake up from a nightmare and realize you have to go on living, even though life may not be worth it all of the time.

About Keith Banner

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Banner received his M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. He is currently a social worker for the mentally handicapped.
Published January 1, 2004 by Carnegie Mellon. 264 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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Their voices are direct and heartbreakingly honest, and Banner's use of imagery brilliantly echoes the low-rent surroundings (fried mushrooms in a fast food restaurant are described as "floating like little severed heads in a hot black lake").

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