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Dancing in the Movies

Robert Boswell

Publication Year: 1986

Encompassing a vast gamut of personalities, situations, and emotions, these stories penetrate our motives for doing what is right. Often there is no right or wrong, and the characters' motives for the choices they make are as diverse as the childhood memories they cherish and abhor. In the end, this book probes individual impulse and responsibility, creating stories so unerringly authentic that they become—irrepressibly—part of everyone who reads them.

"The Darkness of Love" narrates three days in the life of a black policeman, distressed by his inner fears of racism and irresistibly attracted by his wife's sister. In "Dancing in the Movies" a college student returns to his hometown, where he finds his girlfriend—a heroin addict—and tries to convince her to overcome her habit. There are stories of men at war, of lovers trying to begin a relationship, of others trying to sustain their love. Each story revolves around characters with a choice to make, and Robert Boswell renders these characters in all of their fine, vulnerable, and relentless attributes.

With this prize-winning collection, Boswell proves himself a mature craftsperson, weaving stories both poignant and profound. Each story is a vision of life, alternately dark and joyous, gritty and hopeful.

Published by: University of Iowa Press


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pp. vii

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Little Bear

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pp. 1-24

Joey Malone found Pfc Owens under a transport truck. "You getting overtime?" Joey said. Owens scooted out on his back. He held a black radiator hose in his hand. "They said it needed a new radiator. Look here." He bent the rubber hose to expose a crack. "I been lying under there a half hour thinking how stupid the army is." ...

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pp. 25-38

Once when I was eleven years old, my father asked me not to buy him cigarettes, even if he begged me to. We had just moved back to Kentucky and were staying with Aunt Hannah, Mother's big sister, while Dad tried to find work. The white clapboard house had two bedrooms, but the room that had been Grandfather's was not used and the door was ...

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Dancing in the Movies

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pp. 39-62

"Bob Marley dead," Eugene said, hand at his dick as he walked in the door, brown face yellowed from heroin, eyes puffy like a boxer's. He stared hard at me, leaned against a barstool. His shoulders made a big spread, but he was junk skinny, that all sucked- out look. "Bob Marley ...

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The Darkness of Love

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pp. 63-110

When Handle woke at ten in the morning, he got up and walked to the far window. Hung over, he half expected the sound of traffic or the fading drone of an airliner as he lifted the window. He had lived in the city for so long that even after two weeks in Tennessee, he found the quiet of the green ...

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pp. 111-124

"I know a joke," I say. Alice is next to me, lying on a canvas recliner in a stylish striped bathing suit, legs crossed, beads of sweat sliding across her oiled skin. Her sunglasses, perfect brown eggs, rest on the bridge of her nose at the proper angle, her lips part to the precise degree of desire. Even her feet, busy against one another ...

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The Right Thing

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pp. 125-144

His feet are the size of thumbs, the segments of his toes no larger than grains of rice. I slap him on the bottom the way I've heard to do. He squeaks and sucks in air, then begins to cry. His fingers bend, grasp for something. I put my little finger in his hand. He clings to it. It's enough for now. He cries ...

E-ISBN-13: 9781587290213

Publication Year: 1986

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