Touch Wood: Short Stories
Touch Wood acknowledges the sway of chance and contingency in our lives without entailing any facile despair. The gesture indeed manifests the guarded hope underpinning even the bleakest passages of these ten variously innovative fictions from Joe Ashby Porter's past decade. Now grave, now twinkling with sly humor, the stories range across the United States from Key West to Alaska, and about the Mediterranean in Tunisia, Spain, and southern France. Only the fifth book of fiction, and only the third collection of short stories in a distinguished career reaching back a quarter century, Touch Wood presents Porter, who John Hawkes called "an American original, " at the height of his powers.