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summary
If every story is born of a question—How did we get here? How do you make your arm do that?—the stories in Geoff Wyss’s How search for answers to the mysteries of an astonishing range of characters. The narrator of “How I Come to Be Here at the GasFast” explains why he hasn’t left a truck stop in the two days since he scratched a winning lottery ticket. In “How to Be a Winner,” a sports consultant browbeats a high school football team with his theory of history and a justification of his failed coaching career. Lost in the mazes they’ve made of themselves, Wyss’s characters search for exits on ground that shifts dizzyingly from humor to pathos, from cynicism to earnestness, from comedy to tragedy, often within the same sentence. Although propelled by a razor-sharp, contemporary voice, Wyss’s stories—many set in a New Orleans unknown to television and tourists—have more in common with Chekhov and O’Connor than with “Treme.”

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. pp. 1-1
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  1. Title Page, Copyright
  2. pp. 2-5
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. v-vi
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. vii-viii
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  1. How to Be a Winner
  2. pp. 1-5
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  1. Child of God
  2. pp. 6-18
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  1. Exit Strategy
  2. pp. 19-32
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  1. In This Procedure
  2. pp. 33-35
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  1. Arms
  2. pp. 36-48
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  1. How to Be a Better You
  2. pp. 49-55
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  1. Profession of the Body
  2. pp. 56-68
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  1. Or
  2. pp. 69-80
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  1. Kids Make Their Own Houses
  2. pp. 81-97
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  1. How I Come to Be Here at the GasFast
  2. pp. 98-102
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  1. Saints and Martyrs
  2. pp. 103-120
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