Light Action in the Caribbean
By Barry Lopez
(Vintage, Paperback, 9780679754480, 176pp.)
Publication Date: October 2, 2001
Categories: Short Stories (single author)
Set variously in Peru, Chine, the Caribbean, California, and the American West, here are tales of men and women exploring the landscapes of their own innocence and desire; confronting violence, estrangement, and the disillusionment of war; or encountering the hope, fierce integrity, defiance, and wisdom of others. A packet of recently discovered seventeenth-century Peruvian love letters presents a twentieth-century man with the paralyzing choice of either protecting or exposing their stunning secret. A man's encounter with a young deaf girl ("eerie in her stillness and independence") rearranges his notions of pity. When some young boys on the lookout for easy money get caught with a truckload of stolen horses, their fates raise questions of justice and redemption. For a group of convicts, a gathering of birds in the prison yard may be the key to transcendence, both figurative and literal. Here are saints who shouldn't touch, but do; sinners who insist on the life of the spirit; a postcard paradise that turns into a nightmare.
With "Light Action in the Caribbean," Barry Lopez, whose fiction has been hailed as "haunting... mysterious" (Time) and "superb...exquisitely wrought" (SF Chronicle), carries his central concerns -- place, compassion, memory, the quest of the traveler -- to exciting new frontiers, both geographic and emotional.
Barry Lopez is the author of six works of nonfiction and eight works of fiction. His writing appears regularly in Harper's, The Paris Review, DoubleTake, and The Georgia Review. He is the recipient of a National Book Award, an Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and other honors. He lives in western Oregon.
"Lopez is one of our finest writers."
--Los Angeles Times Book Review
"In each story the familiar world is transformed in a dramatic or magical moment."
"This is a collection of subtle and mysterious stories... The reader cannot leave Lopez?s fictional territory unchanged."