In the Shadow of Our House: Stories

In the Shadow of Our House: Stories
Author: Scott Blackwood
Language English
Pages: 170
ISBN10: 087074464X
Genre: Literary Fiction
Goodreads Rating: 3.96
ISBN13: 9780870744648
Published: July 9th 2001 by Southern Methodist University Press

In Scott Blackwood's debut collection of thematically linked stories, people live on the cusp of the past and present, saddled with the knowledge that "sometimes what you're thinking can't be dovetailed with what you do.” Set in Austin, Texas, the nine stories are told in spare language freighted with a sense of loss and dread, responsibility and fate. The characters in Blackwood's narratives face the result of the irrevocable choice they've made, accept their losses, and attempt to forge something meaningful out of what remains of their frayed connections to one another. In “Alias,” a man grapples with the decision to kidnap his step-daughter's child and raise her himself. During a medical crisis, a woman in "New Years" is forced to confront her growing estrangement from her teenage son and comfort her ex-husband's lover. In "Worry," a fifteen-year-old faces his father's infidelity and his own darkening vision of himself and the world around him. And in the title story, neighbors ponder what, if anything, they can do about the disappearance from their midst of Odie Dodd, an aging physician who witnessed the Jonestown mass suicide in Guyana. The moments Blackwood takes his stories to are small and quiet, but they contain whole worlds with wisdom coming at you—slow, certain, indelible.