Things that Fall from the Sky
By Kevin Brockmeier
(Vintage, Paperback, 9780375727696, 224pp.)
Publication Date: July 8, 2003
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Weaving together loss and anxiety with fantastic elements and literary sleight-of-hand, Kevin Brockmeier’s richly imagined Things That Fall from the Sky views the nagging realities of the world through a hopeful lens.
In the deftly told “These Hands,” a man named Lewis recounts his time babysitting a young girl and his inconsolable sense of loss after she is wrenched away. In “Apples,” a boy comes to terms with the complex world of adults, his first pangs of love, and the bizarre death of his Bible coach. “The Jesus Stories” examines a people trying to accelerate the Second Coming by telling the story of Christ in every possible way. And in the O. Henry Award winning “The Ceiling,” a man’s marriage begins to disintegrate after the sky starts slowly descending.
Achingly beautiful and deceptively simple, Things That Fall from the Sky defies gravity as one of the most original story collections seen in recent years.
Kevin Brockmeier is the author of The Truth About Celia and a children’s book, City of Names. He has published stories in The Georgia Review, The Carolina Quarterly, and McSweeney’s, and his story “Space” from Things That Fall from the Sky has been selected for The Best American Short Stories. He has received the Chicago Tribune’s Nelson Algren Award, an Italo Calvino Short Fiction Award, a James Michener-Paul Engle Fellowship, two O’Henry Awards (one, a first prize), and most recently, a NEA grant. He lives in Little Rock, Arkansas.
“Delightful, sad and often magical. . . . Brockmeier’s small, carefully made worlds are like Steven Millhauser’s; they are definitely fantastic and miraculously, utterly human.” –The New York Times Book Review
“With so much madness abroad in the world, Brockmeier provides welcome magic. Without lapsing into the simplistic or the sentimental, the stories evoke a human desire to recall that childhood realm of fairy tale,” –Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel
“Lyrical. . . . Brockmeier is clearly a talent. The stories are filled with the kinds of metaphors that make you see the world afresh.” —Shout
“The best pieces in this collection . . .allow that in some rare instances, storytelling has the power to redeem.” —The Village Voice
“[A] generous collection. . . . Brockmeier shows us a little bit of hope, a little light to see by, a plan for the future.” —Chicago Tribune