This book essentially launched the memoir craze that has been going strong ever since. The story is pretty grim: teen-aged Wolff moves with his divorced mother from Florida to Utah to Washington State to escape her violent boyfriend. When she remarries, Wolff finds himself in a bitter battle of wills with his abusive stepfather, a contest in which the two prove to be more evenly matched than might have been supposed.
"Beautiful, unsentimental memoir of youth"
A collection of poignant, romantic and funny tales performed by Academy Award -winning actor William Hurt. This collection includes a bonus track of an exclusive interview with William Hurt. Hurt's readings are thoughtful, tender, romantic, and resonant. A treasure.
"amazing voice for audio"
When Gold's daughter is viciously attacked by a neighbor'sdog and barely escapes with her life, Gold's world is torn open. Haunted by the incident and unable to convince local authorities to take action, he agrees to a friend's offer of retaliation. When he feels compelled to return the favor,one bad turn leads to another - and this time, Gold finds the repercussions much worse than he ever could have anticipated.
Wolff here returns with fresh revelations - about biding one's time, or experiencing first love, or burying one's mother - that come to a variety of characters in circumstances at once everyday and extraordinary. A retired Marine enrolls in college while her son trains for Iraq. A lawyer takes a difficult deposition. An American in Rome indulges the Gypsy who's picked his pocket.
Meticulous, funny, eccentric - Mary has always been mindful of the complex role she plays as a professor of history. Her lectures are carefully written out beforehand; her departmental loyalties ambiguous. She is so careful, in fact, that she began to see herself as flat, dull, and lifeless. The closing of Brandon College, the institution she'd spent more than fifteen years at, changes everything. Forced to find another position, Mary finds herself at an experimental college in rainy Oregon.
Anders is an angry, cynical man. A book critic known for his scathing reviews, he finds any excuse to dismiss, belittle, or insult. This afternoon is no more agitating than the next. Angers finds himself in a long line at the bank, waiting to reach a teller. Even after two men - wearing masks and carrying guns - take control of the building, Anders is unfazed. It's this behavior that lands him with a pistol against his stomach and a man screamingin his face. And when the bank robber, indignant over Anders' behavior, shoots the book critic in the head, his mind floats through the memories of his life, settling on one particular event....
Three friends are leaving the suburbs of Spokane on a hunting trip. Kenny is the prankster, harsh and mean. Frank is laid-back and full of idealism. Tub is overweight, sensitive, and the brunt of everyone's jokes. Searching for tracks in the snow, the trio has little luck until they spot a set of deer prints heading into a nearby farm. Kenny, desperate for a token of their difficult journey, insists that they ask the farmer's permission to hunt on his land.
Burke, a San Francisco lawyer, is defending a woman who has been disabled by a botched surgery. His client has a personal connection to Burke, and the trial happens to be taking place in his Ohio hometown, a place ravaged by fallen industries and greedy corporations. While taking a deposition from a particularly difficult witness, Burke calls for a break and takes a walk around the neighborhood where he grew up. A chance encounter with a beautiful woman sets in motion a series of events that Burke could never have foreseen - and is unlikely to forget.
A classic tale of brotherly love and rivalry from short story master Tobias Wolff. Pete has always been successful. Happily married with two daughters, he lives a comfortable life in Santa Cruz. Pete is a practical, hardworking man and he enjoys life's monetary pleasures. His younger brother, Donald, is a gaunt, troubled man. Unmarried and without children, Donald earns what little money he has by occasionally painting houses. He's a religious man, unlike Pete, and has spent several years as a member of various Christian groups.
Ann's friends envy her. None of their husbands even lift a finger to help with the household chores. Ann's husband is different, though. Then a simple hypothetical conversation while they wash and dry the dishes causes Ann to see her husband in a different light - and causes him to rethink the way two people can know each other.
A story of siblings and faith from short-story master Tobias Wolff. Frances has always been protective of her younger brother Frank. The children of a brutal father and a sick, defenseless mother, Frances fought to keep her brother safe. And throughout all of his adult failings – from drug addiction to near-fatal car crashes - she has stood by his side. Now Frank has found religion. Standing in his crisp white shirt and restrictive tie, he's eager to recount last Sunday's sermon to his older sister.
In this short story from Our Story Begins, three friends confront their relationships to one another as they work on plans to build their very own airplane. Clark’s parents are rich, supplying the boys with all they need to follow their pursuits, making films and building catapults. Meanwhile, Freddy’s family is dealing with the loss of his older brother, and Freddy’s friends are having a hard time knowing how to act around him anymore. The boys all have their troubles, but maybe their airplane can help them escape....
Mr. Givens’ obituary is nothing remarkable, hardly something to remember at all. He led a quiet life, served in the Army, was married to the same woman for 42 years, and worked at the same job practically his whole life. He wasn’t a baseball player or a movie star, he was the furthest thing from a celebrity. In fact, the only thing noteworthy about his obituary is what happens after it runs in the newspaper, when he shows up in the office of the Metro editor wondering who decided to pronounce him dead.
With his marriage on the rocks, a father takes his son skiing for the weekend. After insisting on staying just a bit longer - despite a growing blizzard - the boy's father finds they're snowed in at the resort, the road blockaded by state troopers. To what lengths will he go to keep his marriage intact?
Tessa Hadley published her first work of fiction, Accidents in the Home, at the age of 45, three months after her critical study Henry James and the Imagination of Pleasure came out. A second novel, Everything Will Be All Right, was published the following year, in 2003. She teaches English and creative writing at Bath Spa University College and is currently working on a third novel and on a play, The Wendy House, for BBC Radio.
In this short story by the masterful Tobias Wolff, a teenage boy learns the joys - and struggles - of adult life.
Eager for independence and adult-like freedom, a teenage boy takes a summer job baling hay on a rural farm. Savoring the farm wife’s attention and the extra change in his pocket, the boy feels like a grown man. The fellow hands give him a sense of camaraderie - Clemson, a fastidious boy who attends the same high school; Eduardo, a talkative Mexican seasonal worker; and Miguel, a quiet man and Eduardo’s brother.
"Firelight" tells the story of a mother and her son who are spending the afternoon viewing apartments on a chilly day in Seattle, Washington. The two have no intention of renting one - they can only afford to live in a meager boarding house. Nevertheless, they spend every Saturday wandering through apartments and department stores, dreaming of a different life.
April's father, a psychology professor, has had a breakdown and has landed in the Alta Vista State Hospital. Her stepmother, Claire, is just waiting for him to get out so she can leave on a trip to Italy - a trip April is worried Claire won't come back from. She needs Claire, at least until she finishes high school. She needs her not just as a companion but as a worldly woman who can tell April about men and their desires…men far different from her boyfriend, Stuart.
Gilbert saw Mary Ann first, but the second time he sees her she is dancing with his best friend, Rafe. The three of them begin hanging out all the time, driving around in the car Rafe got as a present for getting into Yale. But when Rafe goes out of town, Gilbert and Mary Ann keep the tradition going, seeing movies and going on drives...in Rafe's car no less.
Maureen is an English teacher, and she’s had a long day. All she wants is a relaxing night out with friends, a few beers, and maybe the chance to forget the troubles of her past: The gambling ex-husband and the daughter who’d thrown her life away sleeping with married men. But her night—and maybe her life—is thrown off track when she leaves the bar and a man approaches her in the parking lot as she unlocks her car.