From Publishers Weekly
Pushcart Prize–winner Mindt deftly captures in his debut collection men, and those around them, as they negotiate moral binds rooted in masculinity's unwritten dos and don'ts. A high school chemistry teacher transplanted from Wisconsin to West Texas flunks the star quarterback and incurs the wrath of the townsfolk—and eventually transforms his marriage in the title story. In "Stories of the Hunt," a 12-year-old boy on his first deer-hunting expedition with his father recognizes that his father lied about his experience as a courageous woodsman. The African-American dentist of "An Artist at Work" recognizes too late that his decision to move his family from Boston to a Norman Rockwell suburb has fatally alienated his teenage artist son. Similarly, in "Free Spirits," a grown son has to come to terms with his psychotic hospitalized father, who can be as violent as he is sympathetic. Mindt does not present easy choices for his characters, like the heartbroken elderly Mexican-American father in the beautifully composed opener, "Sabor a Mi": he treks to Taos, N.Mex., on the occasion of his adored daughter's marriage to another woman. Though his characters are distinct, Mindt concentrates less on people than on their conflicts, and the resulting discord is tense and surprising throughout. (May)
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“Alex Mindt writes stories with muscle, moral intensity, and language that is both brisk and readable. His variation on the familiar ‘teen-age son goes deer-hunting with his father’ theme is priceless. But so is every other story in this remarkable, memorable, artful collection.” —Michael Curtis, Fiction Editor, The Atlantic Monthly
“Although the author masterfully orchestrates different voices, these are not experimental fictions. They are solid, traditional stories with confident endings, that neither resolve too little or too much.” —Clifford Garstang, Rain Taxi Review of Books