By Mark Slouka
(Vintage, Paperback, 9780375702082, 192pp.)
Publication Date: May 21, 2002
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In twelve beautifully imagined stories linked by character and setting, Mark Slouka chronicles three generations of men and women under the spell of a landscape with a powerful history.
Set in a tiny Czech community on the shore’s of upstate New York’s Lost Lake, these elegiac stories explore both the quiet, complicated glory of the natural world and the mysterious motions of the human spirit. In “Genesis,” an inspired young war veteran envisions his legacy in a modest pasture. In “The Shape of Water,” a boy’s recollection of a momentous catch occasions a later reflection on the power of invented truths. In “The Exile,” a young woman struggles unsuccessfully against an adulterous passion. Through them all, Lost Lake emerges as a place of both epic significance and enduring simplicity, prompting memories both challenging and bittersweet.
“Relentlessly observant, miraculously expressive, these are stories that see through the mirrored surface into a hidden yet strangely intimate world.” –The New York Times Book Review
“Mr. Slouka is an important writer, and [Lost Lake] is, quite simply, wonderful.” –Dallas Morning News
“The range of emotion and experience in Lost Lake is panoramic, the sense of mystery as deep as the lake itself.” –The Commercial Appeal
“So rich and affecting that it incorporates all kinds of influences while remaining singular and quite unforgettable.” –Outside