By Richard Ford
Grove Press, Paperback, 9780802144577, 235pp.
Publication Date: October 13, 2009
In these ten exquisite stories, first published by Atlantic Monthly Press in 1987 and now reissued as a Grove Press paperback, Richard Ford mines literary gold from the wind-scrubbed landscape of the American Westand from the guarded hopes and gnawing loneliness of the people who live there: a refugee from justice driving across Wyoming with his daughter and an unhappy girlfriend in a stolen, cranberry-colored Mercedes; a boy watching his family dissolve in a night of tragicomic violence; and two men and a woman swapping hard-luck stories in a frontier bar as they try to sweeten their luck. "Rock Springs" is a masterpiece of taut narration, cleanly chiseled prose, and empathy so generous that it feels like a kind of grace.