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Everyone Here Has a Gun

Un libro in lingua di Lucas Southworth edito da Univ of Massachusetts Pr, 2013

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In a tightrope act of darkness and humor, fantasy and reality, the twelve stories in this award-winning collection describe characters searching for comfort and stability in a world that is ultimately too vast, violent, and incomprehensible. As they revert to what seems most simple and familiar -- public transportation, television, museums, fairy tales -- they discover only murder, displacement, fragmentation, and obsession.

In "The Running Legs and Other Stories," Mary Beth attempts to recall a traumatic experience from her childhood, filtering it through children's stories told by her "wicked" stepmother. In "Lincoln's Face, A Resurrection," an African American make-up artist struggles with concepts of history as she transforms a former lover into Abraham Lincoln. The young narrator in "Under the World" grieves for his parents by losing himself in a worldwide subway system. And in the title story, the speaker describes a small room where everyone armed with a single gun waits with dread and anticipation for the inevitable first shot.

Anton Chekhov famously noted that if a story introduces a gun in the first act, that gun must go off by the third. Yet while weapons are often present in Southworth's stories, they are rarely fired, existing instead as a constant reminder of the power people can have over each other and the violent potential of narrative itself.

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