- Publisher: University of Nebraska Press
- Available in: Hardcover
- ISBN: 978-0803215511
- Published: September 1, 2005
Prairie Schooner Book Prize in Fiction
The stories in this collection occupy a world at once as familiar as a suburban backyard or a southern college’s hallowed football field and as strange as a man who buys Savannah, Georgia, and tries to turn it into the perfect Southern city as part of his attempt to win back his estranged wife. The fictional territory of Carrying the Torch, is in short, Brock Clarke’s, one in which the surreal and the hilarious share a neighborhood with the painfully real and the sweetly ironic. Here readers will encounter characters dislocated by work and love, by huge losses and life’s small dramas, men and women who have migrated South in search of redemption—or at least in the hope of leaving the worst behind.
In these tales about what people try to leave and find they can’t, about the lies we tell the people we love and the myths we create to make life livable, Marly Swick cites an “exceptional originality” as well as an “amazing emotional resonance, a haunting quality.” “Notable for their balance of sentiment and restraint, the music of their language, and the haunting human longing that coexists with the irony and the humor,” as Lee Martin remarks, these remarkable stories carry forward a tradition reaching from Flannery O’Connor to John Cheever and Donald Barthelme—and arrive at a brilliance all their own.