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This edition of Dwight Allen's acclaimed story collection,The Green Suit, ends with a new story, rounding out a dozen interlinked tales about a well-to-do Kentucky family called the Sackriders. The stories cover a period of forty years, from the Vietnam War to the Age of Foreclosure. Chief among the Sackriders is Peter, son of a judge and a vitamin-pill-popping mother, brother to a sister whose troubles with boys take her far from Kentucky. He is a writer perhaps more in love with women (and, intermittently, men) than he is with words, whose eagerness to be loved leads him into alarming circumstances. He is a man with a yearning for transcendence and a penchant for betrayal. The new story finds Sackrider in his mid-fifties, married for a second time, the father of a small child, and all tangled up with his next-door neighbor, an artist who likes to use the corpses of animals in his collages.
When beloved Judge William Dupree dies at eighty-two, he leaves his widow, two adult sons, and a more than devoted clerk to mourn him. The Judge-gentle, reserved, henpecked, and a lifelong Republican-was appointed to the United States District Court by Richard Nixon. But once on the bench, he invariably ruled for the liberal argument-pro-civil rights, pro-choice-dismaying his upper-crust Louisville, Kentucky, cronies, not to mention his wife. Mary Louise Dupree, a nagging hypochondriac (considered by some an out-and-out shrew), remembers her marriage querulously, but softens the day she must also bury the judge's loyal little dog, Duff. His two sons, Crawford and Morgan, react to his death by behaving in ways that would surely have disappointed him. His law clerk, Lucy, remembers him as a saint who politely lusted for her and finally acted on that lust at the age of eighty. In the aftermath of the judge's death, the mourners interrelate disastrously, acting out their grief. While they are grappling with loss and notions of an afterlife, they all feel-and sometimes even see-his presence. Dead or alive, the Duprees are, as a family, perpetually restless in their insistence on family love even in the face of family failures.
Welcome to Midvale, a city of liberal-minded (but nottooliberal-minded) folk in the heart of Wisconsin. Midvale is home to Oliver Poole, lanky and gray-haired father of four sons, husband of Diana (a prominent divorce lawyer), left fielder for an over-the-hill softball team called the Old Hatters, and sole proprietor of a typewriter repair shop (a trade that one of his sons compares to singing folk music on the street and waiting for someone to drop a nickel in the hat). Midvale is home, too, to Annelise Scharfenberg, a thirty-something, sugar-craving, aspiring Buddhist who works as a late-night music-and-gab-show host at a fringe radio station. When Annelise, a collector of old-fashioned things, walks into Oliver's shop bearing a typewriter scavenged from an alley, a romance ensues, with consequences both comic and tragic. Set during the early years of the Iraq war,The Typewriter Satyris flush with colorful characters, including a Syrian coffeehouse owner who believes the Bush government is after him, a Buddhist monk who grew up in rural Wisconsin, a painter known as the Rabbit Master, and a homeless writer who roams the streets of Midvale in search of a missing shoe. InThe Typewriter SatyrDwight Allen has created a world that, as the novelist Michelle Huneven notes, "speaks to the powerful tides of longing and loneliness surging through all of us. " Honorable Mention, Anne Powers Book Length Fiction, Council for Wisconsin Writers Finalist, General Fiction, Midwest Book Awards
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