Four years have passed since Justin Campbell’s disappearance, a tragedy that rocked the small town of Southport, Texas. Did he run away? Was he kidnapped? Did he drown in the bay? As the Campbells search for answers, they struggle to hold what’s left of their family together. Then, one afternoon, the impossible happens. The police call to report that Justin has been found only miles away, in the neighboring town, and, most important, he appears to be fine. Though the reunion is a miracle, Justin’s homecoming exposes the deep rifts that have diminished his family.
Now considered a contemporary classic, Airships was honored by Esquire magazine with the Arnold Gingrich Short Fiction Award. The 20 stories in this collection are a fresh, exuberant celebration of the new American South - a land of high school band contests, where good old boys from Vicksburg are reunited in Vietnam, and petty nostalgia and the constant pain of disappointed love prevail. Airships is a striking demonstration of Barry Hannah's mature and original talent.
Gates' characters, young or old or neither, are well educated, broadly knowledgeable, often creative, and variously accomplished, whether as a doctor or a composer, an academic or a journalist. And every one of them carries a full supply of the human condition: parents in assisted-living - or assisted-dying - facilities, too many or too few people in their families and marriages, the ties that bind a sometimes messy knot, age an implacable foe, impulses pulling them away from comfort into distraction or catastrophe.
©2006 Bret Anthony Johnston; (P)2006 Recorded Books, LLC
"Several cuts above the usual fare." (Kirkus Reviews)
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