Eminent Domain

Dan O'Brien, Author
Dan O'Brien, Author University of Iowa Press $19.5 (135p) ISBN 978-0-87745-170-9
Reviewed on: 03/31/1987
Release date: 04/01/1987
Winner of the 1986 Iowa Short Fiction Award, O'Brien demonstrates in this collection of 10 short stories that he is a capable and lyrical writer. The metaphors that resonate below the surfaces of his tales render them enjoyable, satisfying and thought provoking. Most of them concern that hardy breed, the Midwesterner, at home in the mountains, plains and even back East, as in ""Cowboy on the Concord Bridge.'' The title story, which chronicles the dilemma of a man forced to sell the one thing in the world he really cares about, is an adventurous tale told in the first person by several different characters; as a result, it's a little hard to follow. More satisfying is ``Weightless,'' about two men climbing a mountain at night in a storm to effect a rescue. In ``Inheritance,'' O'Brien profiles a man fishing after the death of his father, probing the fisherman's memories of his father and highlighting his realization that his inheritance may not be material, but is nevertheless rich and unique. (April 30)
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