Elevate Difference

The Man From Kinvara

Tess Gallagher's The Man From Kinvara is a richly written volume of short stories spanning the well-known poet and writer’s vast and prolific career. Who knew narratives of such everyday life could be so fascinating and provide captivating images?

“The Lover of Horses,” the first story in this collection, is a tale of a family legacy passed on to each generation. Passions that start out normal and then evolve into obsessions are front and center in the characters’ lives. Horses, gambling, and enabling haunt these intricately developed characters. My investment in this story of a daughter called home to help her dying father paid off with complete satisfaction.

Gallagher puts a new spin on the Avon Lady in her story “Turpentine”. Ginny is the unconventional wife, who has turned handyman, while her husband concentrates on his career as a computer programmer. When the Avon Lady visits her home, Ginny’s view of the future is changed forever.

“A Pair of Glasses” is a poignant story of a little girl, who longs to view the world through the fuzziness of lens that are too strong. She wants this so bad, she wishes for her eyesight to fail and attempts to convince those around her this has indeed happened. Finally her father relents and she is given a real pair of reading glasses from the five-and-dime. Reality comes in the form of a teacher.

Most of the stories in The Man From Kinvara are set in Gallagher's beloved Pacific Northwest, and she brings this area alive in her prose. These stories are bursting at the seams with true heart.

Written by: Ann Hite, September 19th 2009

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