The Talker: Stories

Mary Sojourner (Author)
Available

Description

"If you ever wondered what life is like for the down and out, the remarkable Sojourner lays it out in precise and unsparing prose in her latest collection of short stories."
--PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, starred review

From security guards and jack rabbits to bartenders and blue herons, the desert-dwellers in The Talker surface with grit and grace from dust-blown trailers, ancient Joshua trees, and artificial lakes. With her signature down-to-earth storytelling style, Mary Sojourner explores the lives of working class people, threats to Western landscapes, and the complexities of love. The Talker depicts a community weathering the desert glare of the Mojave, seeking refuge, truth, and escape.

MARY SOJOURNER is the author of the novels, 29, Sisters of the Dream and Going Through Ghosts; the short story collections The Talker and Delicate; an essay collection, Bonelight: Ruin and Grace in the New Southwest; and memoirs, Solace: Rituals of Loss and Desire and She Bets Her Life. She is an intermittent NPR commentator and the author of many essays, columns and op-eds for High Country News, Writers on the Range, and other publications. A graduate of the University of Rochester, Sojourner teaches writing in private circles, one-on-one, at colleges and universities, writing conferences, and book festivals. She believes in both the limitations and possibilities of healing through writing--the most powerful tool she has found for doing what is necessary to mend. She lives in Flagstaff, Arizona.

Product Details

Price
$14.95  $13.75
Publisher
Torrey House Press
Publish Date
March 14, 2017
Pages
200
Dimensions
5.2 X 0.6 X 7.9 inches | 0.65 pounds
Language
English
Type
Paperback
EAN/UPC
9781937226695
BISAC Categories:

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About the Author

MARY SOJOURNER is the author of the novels, 29, Sisters of the Dream and Going Through Ghosts; the short story collections The Talker and Delicate; an essay collection, Bonelight: Ruin and Grace in the New Southwest; and memoirs, Solace: Rituals of Loss and Desire and She Bets Her Life. She is an intermittent NPR commentator and the author of many essays, columns and op-eds for High Country News, Writers on the Range, and other publications. A graduate of the University of Rochester, Sojourner teaches writing in private circles, one-on-one, at colleges and universities, writing conferences, and book festivals. She believes in both the limitations and possibilities of healing through writing--the most powerful tool she has found for doing what is necessary to mend. She lives in Flagstaff, Arizona.

Reviews


"Mary Sojourner is a master of the short story. She can give more insight into the lives and hearts of her characters than most writers can in a trilogy of novels. Each impossible-to-put down story in her new collection, The Talker: Short Stories, rewards her readers with indelible scenes, edgy dialogue, and gritty characters, delivering draw-in-a-breath surprises that lead to a resonant and moving finish all without the slightest hint of sentimentality."
Susan Lang, Peregrine Book Company, Prescott AZ
"
"The heart in these stories beats out of its chest. Sojourner is the voice of the luckless, the rejected, and the defiantly free. Reading this collection will give you blisters in tender places, and you'll be proud of them."
BRADEN HEPNER, author of Pale Harvest
"Long ago, farming families would leave a candle in a window at night so that a wayward soul wandering in the dark could find a way to comfort. This best describes Mary Sojourners tales of small lives struggling for connection. Some construct fences around themselves and blame the fence, others find comfort in acceptance. They are, like their creator, sojourners. In every case, Mary Sojourner brings candlelight to their struggles."
H. LEE BARNES, author of The Gambler's Apprentice
"Mary Sojourner is a master of the short story. She can give more insight into the lives and hearts of her characters than most writers can in a trilogy of novels. Each impossible-to-put down story in her new collection rewards her readers with indelible scenes, edgy dialogue, and gritty characters, delivering draw-in-a-breath surprises that lead to a resonant and moving finishall without the slightest hint of sentimentality."
SUSAN LANG, Peregrine Book Company
"
"In [these] stories set in the southwest, the mostly working class characters struggle to rise beyond their pasts and their own worst tendencies Sojourner uses passion, high energy storytelling, and unflinching empathy to break the reader's heart."
KIRKUS REVIEWS
"The heart in these stories beats out of its chest. Sojourner is the voice of the luckless, the rejected, and the defiantly free. Reading this collection will give you blisters in tender places, and you'll be proud of them."
BRADEN HEPNER, author of Pale Harvest
"Long ago, farming families would leave a candle in a window at night so that a wayward soul wandering in the dark could find a way to comfort. This best describes Mary Sojourners tales of small lives struggling for connection. Some construct fences around themselves and blame the fence, others find comfort in acceptance. They are, like their creator, sojourners. In every case, Mary Sojourner brings candlelight to their struggles."
H. LEE BARNES, author of The Gambler's Apprentice
"Mary Sojourner is a master of the short story. She can give more insight into the lives and hearts of her characters than most writers can in a trilogy of novels. Each impossible-to-put down story in her new collection rewards her readers with indelible scenes, edgy dialogue, and gritty characters, delivering draw-in-a-breath surprises that lead to a resonant and moving finishall without the slightest hint of sentimentality."
SUSAN LANG, Peregrine Book Company
"
"If you ever wondered what life is like for the down and out, the remarkable Sojourner lays it out in precise and unsparing prose in her latest collection of short stories. Throughout, Sojourner's ability to bring extraordinary characters to life and bring depth and heart to ordinary circumstances makes this collection memorable."
--PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, starred review

"In [these] stories set in the southwest, the mostly working-class characters struggle to rise beyond their pasts and their own worst tendencies...Sojourner uses passion, high-energy storytelling, and unflinching empathy to break the reader's heart."
--KIRKUS REVIEWS

"The heart in these stories beats out of its chest. Sojourner is the voice of the luckless, the rejected, and the defiantly free. Reading this collection will give you blisters in tender places, and you'll be proud of them."
--BRADEN HEPNER, author of Pale Harvest

"Long ago, farming families would leave a candle in a window at night so that a wayward soul wandering in the dark could find a way to comfort. This best describes Mary Sojourners' tales of small lives struggling for connection. Some construct fences around themselves and blame the fence, others find comfort in acceptance. They are, like their creator, sojourners. In every case, Mary Sojourner brings candlelight to their struggles."
--H. LEE BARNES, author of The Gambler's Apprentice

"The bio of fiction writer, journalist, and sometime NPR commentator Mary Sojourner says she 'believes in ... Healing through writing.' In this collection of short fiction, it feels as if she's writing to heal characters, as well. Sketchy, stretched, beaten up or beaten down, wrestling with personal demons--drugs, booze, gambling, bad partner-choices--they seem one final reckless move away from really doing themselves in when Sojourner conjures up a little magical grace. Featuring aging hippies, security guards, restaurant staff (plus one books and articles writer, buried mid-collection) who drive old pickups or travel by train, Sojourner's stories bring to life high desert blue collar America. But the one element that consistently doesn't need healing? Nature: A star-studded desert sky. Elegant blue heron. Shimmering aspen grove on Hart Prairie. Whiff of creosote in the rain. Juniper smoke."
--CHRISTINE WALD-HOPKINS