- Paperback: 185 pages
- Publisher: Rain Mountain Press; First edition (May 31, 2015)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1495106128
- ISBN-13: 978-1495106125
- Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.5 x 8.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 8 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,572,402 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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After the Gazebo Paperback – May 31, 2015
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Complex, assured stories that describe the complications of love and need with perfect pitch. --Kirkus Reviews
With a clear lens pressed to her creative eye, Jen Knox has crafted a diverse collection of stories where loss, hardships, and tender vulnerabilities are stretched across the uncertain horizon of everyday life. --Beth Hoffman, internationally bestselling author of Looking for Me
About the Author
Jen Knox is Gemini Ink's Writers-in-Communities program director. Her writing can be found in The Best Small Fictions 2017, edited by Amy Hempel (Braddock Avenue Books), The Short Story America Anthology, Chicago Tribune, Istanbul Review, Narrative, Room Magazine, The Santa Fe Writers Project Quarterly, and The Saturday Evening Post. She is the author of After the Gazebo (Rain Mountain Press), which was nominated for the 2015 Pen/Faulkner, and she recently completed a collection of fabulist fiction, The Glass City, which was a finalist for the Italio Calvino Prize for Fabulist Fiction and won the Prize Americana for Prose. jenknox.com
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Knox's writing style is wonderful. Here are a couple of first sentences:
The closest I've come to a passionate encounter in the last two decades was with Henry, and he died soon after we met.
From Types of Circus:
The last day I saw Michelle, she weighed 325.2 pounds.
Both of these sentences captured me as soon as I read them. In the first case the death draws me in. In the second the .2 pounds intrigues me. I could go on and on with examples of how Knox subtly and carefully holds her readers' attention.
Two stories in the collection are particularly intriguing because they may or may not be connected. These are Scratching the Silver and Lying to Old Men. Both are about a man named Rattle who has a one night stand with an underage exotic dancer. The first one is written from Rattle's point of view. The second is from the point of view of the woman. But the stories play out in very different ways, leaving me wondering if they are about two different men with the same unusual name and affair, or about the same man with two different dancers (she's named in the first story, but not in the second), or if this is a case of looking at the results of the same event with two very different choices. Knox placed Scratching the Silver early in the collection and Lying to Old Men late, so she wasn't pushing this connection. Still, if she did not want them to be considered as a pair, I believe she would have changed Rattle's name.
Both of the two “Rattle” stories stand own. In fact, according to the acknowledgments: Scratching the Silver first appeared in Per Contra and Lying to Old Men received finalist status for the 2013 Fulton Prize and was introduced in The Adirondack Review. But together they are even more powerful. Like all the stories in After the Gazebo they made me think and feel.
Steve Lindahl – author of Motherless Soul and White Horse Regressions
Another thing that impressed me was just how adaptable Jen Knox is in her writing. She covered a wide uses of tenses, narrative persons and subjects--and managed to pull each one off to a satisfying and impressive level. This is a short story collection that I'd definitely recommend.