Small Marvels: Stories

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Product Details

Indiana University Press
6.0 X 9.1 X 0.5 inches | 0.7 pounds

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About the Author

Scott Russell Sanders is the author of more than 20 books of fiction, essays, and personal narrative, including Hunting for Hope, A Conservationist Manifesto, Dancing in Dreamtime, and Earth Works: Selected Essays. His most recent book is The Way of Imagination, a reflection on healing and renewal in a time of social and environmental upheaval. Based in Bloomington, Indiana, he is a Distinguished Professor Emeritus of English at Indiana University and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.


When I first heard Scott tell a story, I prayed the day would come he'd write a book of them, and here it is! In Small Marvels, eloquence, humor, and magic mingle together in a delicious blend. Limestone, Indiana, will no doubt take its place in the landscape of Hoosier legends.

--Philip Gulley, author of the Harmony Series

Joyful, whimsical and lovely.

--Katie Noah Gibson "Cakes, Tea and Dreams"

Small Marvels is an evocative short story collection that tickles the imagination as it explores the magic of a Midwestern town.

-- "Foreword Reviews"

Essayist and nature writer Scott Russell Sanders returns to fiction in his joyous, whimsical novel-in-stories, Small Marvels. The collection follows the life of Gordon Mills, a city maintenance worker in small-town Indiana, and the adventures of his loving, rambunctious family. Told in Sanders's signature rambling prose, the 24 stories recount the joys and travails of Gordon's career and family life: an overstuffed house in need of constant repair, cranky teenagers and aging parents, his own aching back. But the 'small marvels' of the title await around every corner, whether it's seeing the northern lights improbably gleam over the city dump or the pleasure of watching birds flock to a homemade yard feeder. Sanders (Dancing in Dreamtime) sprinkles his stories with quotidian wonders, placing his characters in humdrum situations where magic flashes unexpectedly. In brief vignettes with one-word titles, Sanders explores mundane challenges, such as the tight finances of a large household, and more esoteric ones, like the group of centaurs and dragons that take shelter in a local cave. With his wife, Mabel--a sturdy, practical woman--Gordon manages to keep his family fed and clothed, while also helping his four children through various growing pains. Charming and engaging without being twee, Small Marvels celebrates the simple joys of living in this world and the miracles, otherworldly or everyday, that wait for those who are willing to look. Sanders's portrayal of wonder in Gordon's world will inspire readers to look for magic in their own lives.

-- "Shelf Awareness"

Please, find a copy of Small Marvels and embrace within it your personal moments of wonderment and joy, connections and discoveries, and the simple gift of love.

--Rita Kohn "Nuvo"

The only thing wrong with Scott Russell Sanders's new collection of short stories, Small Marvels, is the title. For while many of the marvels that Sanders describes may be of the everyday sort-- the birth of a child, the sounds of sandhill cranes wheeling overhead--there's nothing small about them. They're the kind of wonders that fill a life with awe, meaning, and love. . . . Sanders describes Gordon as having been "seized by grace." Sanders was clearly seized by the same grace when he wrote this magical collection.

--Julie Gray "Bloom"