He opened the refrigerator, which was empty and breathed out a sour-thermos smell. Shrunken ice cubes lay in trays in the freezer, and Bob popped one out and stuck it in his mouth. It tasted like old laundry. He spat it into the dusty cranny between the fridge and the stove.
That passage appears at the end of the second paragraph of the first story in Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned
, and it was at this point that I decided I was going to like Wells Tower's book. Sour thermos fridge. Old laundry ice cubes. That frightening no-man's-land down the side of the stove! Genius.
But I was nervous. Still on page one and already sold -- surely I was setting myself up for disappointment. Could the next 235 pages possibly follow through on the promise of the first? Would there be heart and meaning beyond the metaphors? I read on, and found that...
Beyond the Book
About the Author
Wells Towers short stories and journalism have appeared in The New Yorker
, Harper's Magazine
, The Paris Review
, The Anchor Book of New American Short Stories
, The Washington Post Magazine
, and elsewhere. He received two Pushcart Prizes and the Plimpton Prize from
The Paris Review
According to The New York Observer, "Brown Coast", the opening story of Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned
is the first short story Wells Tower wrote during his first year in the Columbia fiction program,
which he joined in the fall of 2000. It was published in the spring 2002 issue...