Here are six
fictional stories about Americans colliding with a remote and often perilous
part of the world:
Two journalists, stranded in wartime Afghanistan, are taken in by a warlord who
becomes the arbiter of their fates.
A female scientist investigating the Aral Sea disaster is drawn into a trap by a
former KGB officer.
On a hike through Kazakhstan, Jayne and Douglas's marriage unravels when their
guide, a veteran of the Soviet-Afghanistan war, takes an unseemly interest in
The son of an American ambassador addicted to the seamy underside of a Central
Asian city finally gets in over his head.
In the Pushcart Prizewinning title story, a tortured missionary struggles to
reconcile his sexual urges with his faith.
A young man just back from a long stint in Kyrgyzstan finds his relationship
with his fiancée all but destroyed.
Sometimes hilarious, sometimes tragic, but always eerily affecting, these
stories show us deeply foreign lands and peoples through our own eyes.
Impressive in both range and emotional acuity, God Lives in St. Petersburg is a
stunning fictional debut by a "wildly talented" (Outside) young writer.
Starred Review. Bissell never flinches as he looks
straight into the starved hearts of his characters. In these chilling stories of
a region ravaged by war, exile and neglect, desperation drives men and women to
do the otherwise unthinkable, and no one is quite forgiven for their
Bissell follows a nonfiction account of his travels in Central Asia (Chasing the
Sea, 2003) with this slim but rigorous debut collection of six darkly passionate
stories about Americans who have chosen to visit or live in that most difficult
part of the world....Graham and Ernest move over, you've
About the author & the Aral Sea: In 2001 Tom Bissell traveled throughout
Uzbekistan, spending some time in Muynak. Forty years ago
Muynak was a busy fishing port on the edge of the Aral Sea,
which was formerly the fourth largest inland sea in the world
but now, due to 40 years of Soviet irrigation policy, is
mostly polluted desert. He recorded his
thoughts and observations in a memoir, Chasing The Sea, published in 2003,
which combined the story of his travels with a chronicle of
Uzbekistan's culture and history. His second
book, God Lives in St Petersburg,
continues to explore Uzbekistan and other parts of Central
Asia, but in the form of short stories instead of
The Aral Sea is disappearing because its two major sources, the Amu Darya and
the Syr Darya, were diverted by the Soviet Union in the...
Rick Bass's new collection contains a broad range of characters and settings: Filled with Bass's hallmark lean and beautiful prose, they are further proof of his mastery of the short fiction form.
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