Last Car Over the Sagamore Bridge
By Peter Orner
(Little, Brown and Company, Hardcover, 9780316224642, 208pp.)
Publication Date: August 6, 2013
Categories: Short Stories (single author)
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"A ravishing collection, full of wisdom, grief, beauty, and especially surprise."--Anthony Doerr, author of The Shell Collectors
Peter Orner zeroes in on the strange ways our memories define us: A woman's husband dies before their divorce is finalized; a man runs for governor of Illinois and loses much more than an election; two brothers play beneath the infamous bridge at Chappaquiddick. Employing the masterful compression for which he has been widely praised, Orner presents a kaleidoscope of individual lives viewed in startling, intimate close-up.
Whether writing of Geraldo Rivera's attempt to reveal the contents of Al Capone's vault or of a father and daughter trying to outrun a hurricane, Orner illuminates universal themes. In stories that span considerable geographic ground--from Chicago to Wyoming, from Massachusetts to the Czech Republic--he writes of the past we can't seem to shake, the losses we can't make up for, and the power of our stories to help us reclaim what we thought was gone forever.
Peter Orner is the author of Esther Stories, The Second Coming of Mavala Shikongo, and Love and Shame and Love. His fiction and nonfiction have appeared in the New York Times, The Atlantic, The Paris Review, Granta, McSweeney's, Best American Stories, and other periodicals. Orner has received the Rome Prize from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, The Goldberg Prize for Jewish Fiction, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and two Pushcart Prizes. He teaches at San Francisco State University and lives in Bolinas, California.
Praise for Last Car over the Sagamore Bridge
"A séance of a book--moody, tragic, sacred by turns."--Stuart Dybek, author of The Coast of Chicago
"One of our best and most adventurous writers....By casting a wide net and depicting so many and various souls, he urges us toward recognition of the transcendent--the beauty of it all, the one big soul."--Daniel Woodrell, author of The Maid's Version
"Reaffirms Peter Orner's storytelling mastery."--Chicago Tribune Printers Row
"A magnificent and moving mosaic."--San Francisco Chronicle
"Orner packs remarkable pathos into his condensed narratives."--Wall Street Journal
"Peter Orner is mining a deep vein of human experience....What he comes up with is a true work of art that will make you think, 'Oh, this is how it's done.'"--Maile Meloy, author of Both Ways Is the Only Way I Want It
"Orner fires jewel-toned shards of fiction into a stunning whole."--Publishers Weekly
"Imagine Brief Interveiws with Hideous Men written by Alice Munro."--Tom Bissell, Harper's Magazine
"Orner is an undisputed master of the short short story."--Booklist