Posts Tagged ‘Inheritances’
William Black’s debut collection looks closely at life in the heart of coal country — now fracking country — in Northeastern Pennsylvania. In these starkly beautiful, incandescent stories, people struggle with the grip that place and history have on them. They are consumed by searching — for love, for escape, for brief moments of clarity that give them the courage to continue.
William Black’s stories have appeared in The Sun, The Southern Review, Threepenny Review, Crazyhorse, Prairie Schooner, The Florida Review, and many other journals and magazines. He lives in Scranton, Pennsylvania and teaches at Johns Hopkins University.
“Black is at his best as a social realist in a blue-collar milieu.”—Kirkus Reviews
“William Black’s stunning and stirring debut collection consists of twelve short stories set in Appalachia’s Northeastern Pennsylvania, where rugged hills and peaceful valleys landscape both the terrain and the soul. The evocative language in which Inheritances is written mirrors the highs and lows of his characters’ emotions as Black leads us and immerses us into their lives. Each story’s intriguing beginning and thought-provoking ending make this collection a keeper—one you’ll find yourself reaching for every time you need a dose of the valor and courage his characters demonstrate…. Make a space on your bookshelf for this one, preferably on a shelf within arm’s reach, as it’s a short-story collection you won’t want to part with.”—NewPages
“Inheritances pulls you in by the scruff of your neck, then pounds on your heart. These finely etched tales are told by narrators we trust and believe in, describing this ravaged landscape and its people with insight and authority. William Black clearly knows this world of hard lives and hard work — knows it well enough to find the softness in it, the tender places.”—Jim Daniels author of Eight Mile High
“William Black’s characters, though they don’t know it, are on adventures dark, dangerous, foolhardy, brave, and filled with the beauty of the human spirit. Black’s landscapes and histories sometimes punish these people, but Black’s eye, prose and generosity imbue both the starkest terrain and most desperate inhabitants with wonder and earned hope.” —Tim Parrish author of The Jumper
“William Black’s stories, of families caught in the drought of hollowed-out mining towns, are an inheritance of loss–of providing for one’s family, of a sense of self, of a sense of future. But somehow Black makes the hard, dangerous edges of their lives, the hot embers of their hearts, gleam and resonate. In short, they sting.”-Jen Michalski, The Tide King and The Summer She Was Under Water2015, 224 pages (Dufour)
ISBN 978-0-8023-1359-1 Paperback $15.00