In the sparsely settled hills of Michigan's Upper Peninsula, winter's toughness is matched only by the animosity and affection of its inhabitants for each other and for the land that unnerves them. Ina"The Long White," Sharon Dilworth evokes a place dominated by two great lakes whose power and ferocity influence the lives of every inhabitant. The particularities of place and character come together with the clarity and exactitude of a fresh snowfall that both veils and illuminates a landscape."
The awesome terrain of Michigan's Upper Peninsula provides the background for the best stories in this collection by the winner of the 1988 Iowa Short Fiction Award. In the title story, the descendants of Indians and Finns living in the hamlet of Goodheart near Lake Michigan, experience winter as "made up of only two colors, the white of the snow and the black of the trees." In their isolation, psychological as well as geographical, the demons they struggle with include old racial prejudices, alcoholism and an obsession with the unpredictable lake that leads to tragedy. The closed-in feeling in the midst of snow-covered expanse"Ahead, Lake Superior is a black hole in the darkness"is also captured in "Winter Mines," where a temporarily displaced mine worker succumbs to depression and is unable to leave his house. Other tales of neurasthenic characters are set elsewhere. "The Lady on the Plane" contains a striking characterization of a woman who returns from Ireland with a box of photographs that her fatherrecently deadtook of himself "every day of his life"; in "Independence Day" the pathos of a young mother's widowhood is subtly conveyed. These are heartfelt stories, illuminations of lives shaped by place as well as time.
Book year: 1988
Book pages: 204
Book language: en
File size: 6.55 MB
File type: pdf
Published: 25 December 2017 - 23:00