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Half an Inch of Water: Stories
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Published:
Graywolf Press 2015
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Checked Out
Description

A new collection of stories set in the West from "one of the most gifted and versatile of contemporary writers" (NPR)Percival Everett's long-awaited new collection of stories, his first since 2004's Damned If I Do, finds him traversing the West with characteristic restlessness. A deaf Native American girl wanders off into the desert and is found untouched in a den of rattlesnakes. A young boy copes with the death of his sister by angling for an unnaturally large trout in the creek where she drowned. An old woman rides her horse into a mountain snowstorm and sees a long-dead beloved dog. For the plainspoken men and women of these stories—fathers and daughters, sheriffs and veterinarians—small events trigger sudden shifts in which the ordinary becomes unfamiliar. A harmless comment about how to ride a horse changes the course of a relationship, a snakebite gives rise to hallucinations, and the hunt for a missing man reveals his uncanny resemblance to an actor. Half an Inch of Water tears through the fabric of the everyday to examine what lies beneath the surface of these lives. In the hands of master storyteller Everett, the act of questioning leads to vistas more strange and unsettling than could ever have been expected.

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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
09/15/2015
Language:
English
ISBN:
9781555979096
ASIN:
B0140NXXJC
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Citations
APA Citation (style guide)

Percival Everett. (2015). Half an Inch of Water: Stories. Graywolf Press.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Percival Everett. 2015. Half an Inch of Water: Stories. Graywolf Press.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Percival Everett, Half an Inch of Water: Stories. Graywolf Press, 2015.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Percival Everett. Half an Inch of Water: Stories. Graywolf Press, 2015. Web.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2010. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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Jun 12, 2018 17:49:08
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A new collection of stories set in the West from "one of the most gifted and versatile of contemporary writers" (NPR)

Percival Everett's long-awaited new collection of stories, his first since 2004's Damned If I Do, finds him traversing the West with characteristic restlessness. A deaf Native American girl wanders off into the desert and is found untouched in a den of rattlesnakes. A young boy copes with the death of his sister by angling for an unnaturally large trout in the creek where she drowned. An old woman rides her horse into a mountain snowstorm and sees a long-dead beloved dog.
For the plainspoken men and women of these stories—fathers and daughters, sheriffs and veterinarians—small events trigger sudden shifts in which the ordinary becomes unfamiliar. A harmless comment about how to ride a horse changes the course of a relationship, a snakebite gives rise to hallucinations, and the hunt for a missing man reveals his uncanny...

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title
Half an Inch of Water
fullDescription

A new collection of stories set in the West from "one of the most gifted and versatile of contemporary writers" (NPR)

Percival Everett's long-awaited new collection of stories, his first since 2004's Damned If I Do, finds him traversing the West with characteristic restlessness. A deaf Native American girl wanders off into the desert and is found untouched in a den of rattlesnakes. A young boy copes with the death of his sister by angling for an unnaturally large trout in the creek where she drowned. An old woman rides her horse into a mountain snowstorm and sees a long-dead beloved dog.
For the plainspoken men and women of these stories—fathers and daughters, sheriffs and veterinarians—small events trigger sudden shifts in which the ordinary becomes unfamiliar. A harmless comment about how to ride a horse changes the course of a relationship, a snakebite gives rise to hallucinations, and the hunt for a missing man reveals his uncanny resemblance to an actor. Half an Inch of Water tears through the fabric of the everyday to examine what lies beneath the surface of these lives. In the hands of master storyteller Everett, the act of questioning leads to vistas more strange and unsettling than could ever have been expected.

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      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        July 20, 2015
        Everett’s writing style is difficult to pin down, and his latest collection will provide readers with a new set of wonderful enigmas. Set in the snowy western U.S., the stories are stylistically mercurial—equal parts zany and somber, highlighting Everett’s masterly dexterity as a writer. The collection meditates on mystery, within relationships and in the natural world. In “Stonefly,” one of the collection’s strongest offerings, a boy goes after a nearly mythical king trout as a way to cope with the recent drowning death of his sister. “Finding Billy White Feather” and “Graham Greene” deal with futile searches for men that only exist in exaggerations and hearsay. “Liquid Glass” involves auto mechanics, a severed head, and the appearance of a giant lumbering ghost, all described amid mundane moments: “They shook hands, Donnie sat behind the wheel of the Silverado and Keasey sat in the passenger seat. They talked for a few minutes more and then rolled away.” There’s a constant sense while reading Everett that he’s winking at his reader, welcoming them in on a joke that is not entirely clear. His stories, with their wide array of literary influences and referential nods, are imminently familiar yet somehow constantly surprising.

      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        July 15, 2015
        A collection of nine stories, with occasionally reappearing characters, set in the American West. The eclectic Everett has consistently defied pigeonholing by genre or race, though themes of identity permeate his work (Percival Everett by Virgil Russell, 2013; I Am Not Sidney Poitier, 2009). Though those novels reflect a radical ambition concerning structure and the very nature of fiction, the stories here are comparatively straightforward. The ones that specify a location are set in Wyoming, and the others could be. Many feature a rancher, a stoic of few words, whose spouse has either died or left him. None of these protagonists (particularly the disoriented but independent woman in "A High Lake") appears particularly lonely or regretful; they have learned to accept life and nature for what they are. The earliest and many of the best stories follow a similar progression-the protagonist heads into the wilderness (usually on horseback) in search of someone or on some other quest. Often, something happens that transforms the seeker-spiritually or physically or both-and life will never be the same (even if from the outside it may look exactly the same). The language is straightforward, almost Hemingway-esque, though some of the events it describes border on the supernatural. Some of the other, subsequent stories might best be described as "existential mysteries," which again find someone looking for or discovering something but not in the wilderness or necessarily alone. The best of these is "Finding Billy White Feather," in which a man receives a note from the title character, whom he has never met, and learns from the conflicting reports of those who claim to know him that he's a "tall, short, skinny, fat white Indian(s) with black blond hair" or perhaps "a middle-aged, wheelchair-bound Filipina. Or a tall black man with a disfiguring scar down the center of his face." Race is generally an offhand, matter-of-fact revelation, as if it makes no difference whether these characters are black (an anomaly in the region) or white, and even those considered Indian may not be what they claim. A frequently engaging but ultimately inconsistent collection that seems like a stopgap between novels.

        COPYRIGHT(2015) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

      • premium: True
      • source: Booklist
      • content:

        August 1, 2015
        Everett's (Percival Everett by Virgil Russell, 2013) latest story collection is set in the contemporary West, mainly Colorado and Wyoming. The terrain he paints is vast and harsh, peopled by strong, sometimes quirky characters reminiscent of those in Annie Proulx's three volumes of Wyoming Stories. A black vet joins the search for a missing Native American deaf girl and finds her unharmed among rattlesnakes. A boy whose older sister drowned in a nearby river is repeatedly drawn to that spot to fish for an elusive trout. A stoic widow, now running the family ranch alone, sees her beloved dogdead several yearswhen she gets lost in a snowstorm. A 102-year-old Native American woman, convinced she is about to die, enlists a white man who lives off reservation to find her son, whom she hasn't seen for 30 years, and whom no one even remembers. Everett's characters take hold of the reader and won't let go, and as soon as one story is finished, the next immediately beckons, surely the mark of a beautifully written collection, one to recommend and read again.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2015, American Library Association.)

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