Nebraska Stories

Ron Hansen, Author
Ron Hansen, Author Atlantic Monthly Press $0 (193p) ISBN 978-0-87113-252-9
Reviewed on: 01/01/1989
Release date: 01/01/1989
In 11 precisely rendered stories, Hansen ( Desperadoes ) makes evident his breathtaking virtuosity. In ``Wickedness,'' the blizzard of '88 can be seen as a central character whose presence changes the lives of myriad individuals, each of whom comes into focus for a moment; reading the story is like looking at a series of daguerreotypes. ``The Sun So Hot I Froze to Death'' is a highly original narrative in the voice of a vacationing executive who cannot finish writing a bizarre science-fiction story called ``The Prisoner of Planet Dumb.'' In the title tale, Hansen evokes life in a small town in a series of exquisite, almost cinematic prose portraits of people, places and things. These short narratives are utterly clean and smooth; they click together like a collection of river-washed stones that are each remarkably different yet polished by the same hand. Classic though they may feel, these stories are neither dated nor phonily nostalgic. With its wit, originality and astonishing grace, Hansen's work belongs in the best tradition of truly American literature. (Jan.)
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