Publisher description for Red ant house : stories / Ann Cummins.


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Counter Denis Johnson meets Flannery O'Connor in this luminous collection of short stories about the collision of cultures, genders, and generations in the American Southwest. Set mainly amid Indian reservations and uranium mills, these twelve stories create a kaleidoscopic view of family, myth, love, landscape, and loss in a place where infinite skies and endless roads suggest a world of possibility, yet dreams are deceiving, like an oasis, just beyond reach. Whether it's a young woman pushed quite literally to the edge on a desolate mountain pass, an orphaned brother and sister trying to patch together an existence one stitch at a time, a cop who suspects his kleptomaniac wife is stealing from other people -- materially and emotionally -- or a wily roadside hypnotist whose alleged power is both wonderful and strange, Ann Cummins's characters want to transcend the circumstances of their lives, to believe in the eventuality of change. Ultimately, they all exert some kind of power over their lives and find, if only briefly, the true joys of family, friendship, or simple personal freedom, even if it takes them to the netherlands of their fate. Again and again, Ann Cummins generates imagery of white-hot intensity and pushes the limits of both the human spirit and the short story form. Gritty, seductive, and always daring, this unforgettable debut collection puts forth a haunting new vision of hope and heartache in contemporary America and confirms the arrival of an important new voice.

Library of Congress subject headings for this publication: Southwestern States Social life and customs Fiction