[alert variation=”alert-info”]Publisher: University of Nebraska Press
Formats: Hardcover, Paperback, eBook, Kindle
Purchase: Powell’s | Amazon | IndieBound | Barnes & Noble | iBooks[/alert]

John Keeble’s Nocturnal America is a powerful book. The short stories you will find in it will vividly transports you into the American Northwest, into its cold open fields, its wet echoing forests. The world this book portrays is at once beautiful and terrifying. The people you will learn about are you and me, they are us. Us pushed to the edges of culture, hanging on the periphery of society and respectability, struggling with the indifference not only of the world around them but the majority of the people around them.

That was a hard place. He remembered it as crystalline and white. He remembered voices ringing in the cold like metal. his infant sister had died there. he remembered the bright sound the tiny coffin made when it struck the ice at the bottom of the grave.

The opening tale, The Chasm, tells the story of two families separated not by distance but by time who have forged a friendship in rural America through their struggle against Nature and the continuing tragedy of existence. The last story, Freeing the Apes, tales the gripping story of a rural community convulsed by murder and how these public issues intrude upon private ones. Keeble’s grasp of words and ability to string them in such beautiful ways left me at a loss. Stunned. The world between the covers of Nocturnal America is our familiar, mundane one that wonderfully draws on what is both the best and worst in all of us.

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