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Recapture Paperback – October 16, 2012


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 165 pages
  • Publisher: Torrey House Press; First Torrey House Press Edition edition (October 16, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1937226050
  • ISBN-13: 978-1937226053
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 4.2 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,000,083 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover


The stories in Recapture take us to an American West that is both strange and familiar. The Grand Canyon can only be visited in replica form. An archivist preserves a rare map of a vanished Lake Tahoe. A Utah cliff dwelling survives as an aging roadside attraction in California. By turns lyrical, deadpan, and surreal, Erica Olsen’s stories bring us the natural world and the world we make, the artifacts we keep and the memories and desires that shape our lives.

About the Author

Erica Olsen lives in Dolores, Colorado near the Four Corners area, where she does archives and curation work for archaeology museums. Her stories and essays have appeared in ZYZZYVA, High Country News, High Desert Journal, and other magazines. A graduate of Stanford, Harvard, and the University of Montana MFA program, she has also been a Djerassi Fiction Fellow at the University of Wisconsin.

More About the Author

Erica Olsen lives in the Four Corners area. She has an MFA in creative writing from the University of Montana. Her work has received awards including the 2011 Barthelme Prize for Short Prose (for "Grand Canyon II," included in Recapture), a Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing fellowship at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and residencies at Ucross and the Center for Land Use Interpretation. Currently working in marketing for Crow Canyon Archaeological Center, she previously worked as an archivist at Edge of the Cedars State Park Museum in Blanding, Utah, and a museum technician at the Anasazi Heritage Center in Dolores, Colorado, both grant-funded positions supporting the preservation of archaeological collections.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Thomas D. Yoder on November 20, 2012
Format: Paperback
I totally underestimated "Recapture and Other Stories". Olsen's stories convey a close understanding of the people and places of the Southwest and give glimpses of futures that invite dire speculation. At times deeply personal, and at other times scientific, this collection presents an experience of seeing landscapes and relationships through lenses large and small. These stories will leave you wondering, and wanting to know more.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Charles Quimby on November 10, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Erica Olsen's RECAPTURE & Other Stories is more than a collection of "other stories;" it's a curation of artifacts around themes of loss, searching and memory. The motif of return keeps returning.

Relationships--if they can be found in these stories--are broken, in the process of breaking or being partially assembled from the materials found on site.

Some of the pieces run barely a page or two; one is more than half footnotes. The fragments don't cohere to make a single object, but like lipid-coated pot sherds, baskets, granaries and stacked stones, they provide clues for us to extract truths about our vanished selves.

In "The Curation of Silence," Olsen takes this notion to its extreme. She imagines a discipline that studies captured silences, but the empty vessels hold the most meaning for the collector:

"To collect was not only to preserve, but also to alter through the addition of new meanings--just as the books on my shelf were becoming an autobiography of myself that would also be dispersed someday--meanings which were individual, personal and destined to fade away without a trace."

With her background as an archivist and a museum technician in the Four Corners area of the southwest, Olsen knows what this landscape can tell us. Americans typically don't have to live daily with thousand-year structures or billion-year geology. We can make our own ruins, thank you, and build over them with something new and reassuring.

But out here the big spaces and silences force us to confront our conceits of individuality and national exceptionalism. Unlike the forest-dwellers, we can't help but see how time and nature always win out.

Out here, we ready ourselves to become the next Anasazi.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Lynda Coker on October 11, 2012
Format: Paperback
This collection of short stories is a journey of captured moments and current realities, of landscapes and memories. Each lingers like honey on the tongue or bitter and sweet truths on the mind. It's a contemplative reading, requiring some meditation to encompass the whole. Simple and yet complex, the narrative is colorful and pictorial. I'm happy to give this collection Four Stars!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By N. Blackburn on October 10, 2012
Format: Paperback
Read my full review @ bit.ly/SRMuHe

My opinion: In my humble opinion, it takes a special person to have the skill set necessary to write short stories and not treat them as off-shoots of full length novels. Short stories require a conciseness while respecting the characters and setting, in doing justice to them and not underwriting who they are while "telling" the story. There is also a respect which is imperative in not underwriting the story, as well. Olsen is one of these authors. Her characters are inviting, while not always being perfect and her descriptors for the setting make the reader feel that they are walking right along side the characters. To boot, her stories are engrossing in the short amount of pages given for each of them.

On a side note, while the stories are set in the American West/Southwest could limit the audience for this book by the description, I would encourage readers outside this region of the US to take a look at this dynamic tiny read!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Bigboots on October 8, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Anyone who lives, or visits,just passes through, or dreams of the Southwest,should read this volume of short stories by master story-teller Erica Olsen. With piercing vision and ironic understanding, she captures not only the fragrance of sage and the taste of red dust but also creates indelible characters, some of whom you have surely known. I'm buying half a dozen copies as gifts!
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