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ISBN 0941702235 / 9780941702232 / 0-941702-23-5
Publisher Ravenswood Books
› Find signed collectible books: 'Collected Stories'
The complete short fiction of Harry Mark Petrakis, a master of the short story form who has been praised as "one of our finest writers" by the New York Times. Revealing commentaries by the author introduce each of the stories, from "Pericles on 31st Street," his first published work, to half a dozen stories appearing here for the first time in book form. Petrakis wrote a long, powerful new story, "Song of Songs," especially for this volume.
Ranging from the comic and the lusty to the tragic, the characters in these stories might be our neighbors, men and women of flesh and blood, loving, working and dying within what appear to be ordinary lives. But Petrakis makes us understand that all experience is unique and that each individual life, from birth until death, comprises a series of miracles.
In "The Bastards of Thanos," a fiery dying poet recognizes his most potent creation in the person of his bastard son; Polish icemen suffer the fate of some great doomed Greek line in "The Passing of the Ice"; in "The Song of Rhodanthe," a fleeting vision of love flowers within the confines of a grim social prison; in "The Journal of a Wife Beater," an insufferable male chauvinist discovers, to his horror and bodily peril, that his wife is younger, stronger and even more vengeful than he is. And in "Song of Songs," the placid, seemingly contented lives of a husband and wife are shattered by erotic discoveries about each other when a sensuous woman named Blossom opens an Intimate Apparel shop on their street. [via]