Yellow Shoe Fiction

Published by: Louisiana State University Press

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Yellow Shoe Fiction

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Abbott Awaits

A Novel

Chris Bachelder

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The Animal Girl

Two Novellas and Three Stories

John Fulton

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Crash and Tell

Stories

Lori Baker

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The End of the Book

A Novel

Porter Shreve

The End of the Book is the story of an aspiring contemporary novelist who may or may not be writing a sequel to Sherwood Anderson's classic Winesburg, Ohio. Adam Clary works in Chicago for a famous internet company on a massive project to digitize the world's books, but secretly he hates his job and wishes to be a writer at a time when the book as physical object and book culture itself have never been more threatened.

Counterpointing Adam's story is that of George Willard, the young protagonist of Anderson's book, who arrives in Chicago around 1900 when it was the fastest-growing city in American history. Through alternating chapters, we follow George's travails, including his marriage to the wealthy daughter of his boss, his affair with his hometown sweetheart, his artistic crisis, breakdown and flight, and along the way we see the echoes and intersections between his life and Adam's as they struggle in two similar Americas through two similar times in the life of the book.

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The Greatest Show

Stories

Michael Downs

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Horse People

Stories

Cary Holladay

Set in the pastoral horse country of Rapidan, Virginia, the stories in Cary Holladay’s Horse People chronicle the lives of the Fenton family through the Civil War, the Great Depression, and World War II. At the center of these interconnected stories is Nelle, a northern debutante who marries into the Fenton family and establishes herself as their stern and combative matriarch. Nelle’s arrival in Virginia sets up the familial conflict: The Fentons, though well-respected millers and horse-breeders, remain yeoman farmers, whereas Nelle grew up in a wealthy, urban environment. Her high-brow sensibility creates animosity within her new family and fosters resentment among the rural poor. Headstrong and contentious, Nelle relies on an almost supernatural connection with horses to escape the hostility that surrounds her. As Nelle ages and experiences the sweeping cultural changes and hardships of early twentieth-century America, she comes to symbolize everything she once challenged in this community. Through these multi-generational stories, Holladay draws on the folklore and history of her native Virginia and examines the cultural, racial, gender, and economic tensions that pervaded the entire nation. As a result, Horse People considers a particular place and the life of an exceptional woman as indicative of the struggles of all.

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If the Sky Falls

Stories

Nicholas Montemarano

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Joy, PA

A Novel

Steven Sherrill

A darkly insightful evocation of the post-industrial era, Joy, PA tells the story of a family teetering on the precipice of ruin. The Augenbaughs live in a broken and decaying town where the last vestiges of country-club wealth run up against the terrible realities of working-class poverty. Abigail, a fervent believer in the apocalyptic teachings of a radio preacher, is desperate to save her son from Judgment Day as she readies herself for the Rapture-due to arrive in just a few days. Her husband, Burns, has moved to the basement to live out his days in a medicated stupor, unable to cope with memories of his service in Iraq. Caught between the suffering of his mother and father, ten-year-old Willie fights the inherited demons that have savaged his parents' tenuous grasp on reality.

The somber drama surrounding the Augenbaughs plays out with a piercing and commanding lyrical beauty. Both transfixing and disconcerting, Steven Sherrill's empathetic portrait of alienation elicits hope and sympathy amidst shattered but no-less-dignified lives.

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The Midlife Crisis of Commander Invincible

A Novel

Neil Connelly

Once the mighty superhero Commander Invincible, thirty-nine-year-old Vincent Shepherd now faces new enemies: downsizing, a second divorce, and the strains of fatherhood. Decades ago, Vince made a living fighting supervillains, huge irradiated insects, and androids armed with death rays. But when the good guys won the war, heroes like Vince grew obsolete. Certain that his younger wife is starting to find their marriage as frivolous as his old cape, Vince embarks on a scheme to reestablish himself not only as a superhero but as a super dad and a super husband. Confronting former allies with long-buried secrets, he must also battle the same demons we all encounter: doubt, regret, loss, and failure. The Midlife Crisis of Commander Invincible turns a literary lens onto the world of comic book fantasy to reveal the challenges of simply being human.

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