The Night In Question
By Tobias Wolff
(Vintage, Paperback, 9780679781554, 224pp.)
Publication Date: September 30, 1997
Other Editions of This Title: Hardcover
Enter your zip code below to find indies closest to you.
One of the sinuous and subtly crafted stories in Tobias Wolff's new collection--his first in eleven years--begins with a man biting a dog. The fact that Wolff is reversing familiar expectations is only half the point. The other half is that Wolff makes the reversal seem inevitable: the dog has attacked his protagonist's young daughter. And everywhere in The Night in Question, we are reminded that truth is deceptive, volatile, and often the last thing we want to know.
A young reporter writes an obituary only to be fired when its subject walks into his office, very much alive. A soldier in Vietnam goads his lieutenant into sending him on increasingly dangerous missions. An impecunious mother and son go window-shopping for a domesticity that is forever beyond their grasp. Seamless, ironic, dizzying in their emotional aptness, these fifteen stories deliver small, exquisite shocks that leave us feeling invigorated and intensely alive.
Tobias Wolff has written about his life in the acclaimed This Boy's Life and in In Pharoah's Army. Born in Alabama, he was raised in Salt Lake City and in the mountains above Seattle. He briefly attended prep school in Pennsylvania, then joined the U.S. Army in Vietnam. He thereafter took degrees at Oxford and Stanford. Since 1980 he has taught literature and writing at Syracuse University.