Inkslinger Holiday 2014

In the Heart of the Heart of the Country by William H. Gass

In the Heart of the Heart of the Country: And Other Stories (NYRB Classics) By William H. Gass, Joanna Scott (Introduction by) Cover Image
By William H. Gass, Joanna Scott (Introduction by)
$16.95
ISBN: 9781590177648
Availability: Not currently available
Published: NYRB Classics - November 4th, 2014

When you read In the Heart of the Heart of the Country for the first time, you will wonder why someone didn't tell you about this wintry gem sooner.  One reason may be that, despite being widely acknowledged as a masterpiece of American fiction, it's been in and out of print over the past few decades.  Now the fine folks at NYRB Classics have added it to their lineup of essential reissues in an edition that includes a superb preface by Gass himself wherein he outlines his theory of fiction and his writing process.  It's a great setup for the five stories in this collection, and while each one is excellent in its own right, the main attraction is surely the opener "The Pedersen Kid."  It begins with farmhand Big Hans discovering the Pedersen kid nearly frozen to death in a blizzard.  The kid has dared venture through the snow storm to the Jorgensen farm to seek safety from a stranger he calls "yellow gloves," who, according to the kid, has imprisoned the kid's parents in the cellar.  Now, to save the Pedersens, Hans, Jorge and Jorge's father grudgingly trek through a haunting landscape drowned in snow, an omnipresent and potent substance that evokes the "general snow" of Joyce's "The Dead."  The story is almost a pulp thriller, a suspenseful and violent yarn about heroic efforts thwarted, about the terrible realization that one must do something and the even darker realization that one's efforts may well be futile.  Against this dark perspective, however, stands the brightness of Gass' prose, simply unparalleled in its beauty, fluidity and apt metaphors, which is why more than forty-five years after it was first published, In the Heart of the Heart of the Country still feels fresh today.  — Kenneth Loosli

Other Books Mentioned in This Piece: 
Dubliners: Centennial Edition (Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition) By James Joyce, Colum McCann (Foreword by), Terence Brown (Introduction by), Terence Brown (Notes by), Roman Muradov (Illustrator) Cover Image
By James Joyce, Colum McCann (Foreword by), Terence Brown (Introduction by), Terence Brown (Notes by), Roman Muradov (Illustrator)
$19.00
ISBN: 9780143107453
Availability: Not on our shelves currently | available to order
Published: Penguin Classics - May 27th, 2014