By Tobias Wolff

ISBN-10: 0307763749

ISBN-13: 9780307763747

One of many sinuous and subtly crafted tales in Tobias Wolff's new collection--his first in 11 years--begins with a guy biting a puppy. the truth that Wolff is reversing popular expectancies is just part the purpose. the opposite part is that Wolff makes the reversal look inevitable: the puppy has attacked his protagonist's younger daughter. And in all places in The evening in Question, we're reminded that fact is devious, unstable, and sometimes the very last thing we wish to know.

A younger reporter writes an obituary purely to be fired while its topic walks into his workplace, greatly alive. A soldier in Vietnam goads his lieutenant into sending him on more and more risky missions. An impecunious mom and son cross window-shopping for a domesticity that's eternally past their snatch. Seamless, ironic, dizzying of their emotional aptness, those fifteen tales convey small, beautiful shocks that go away us feeling invigorated and extremely alive.

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As we stepped from under the arch at the end of the quay onto the Kreuzherrenplatz, I ran into that street with my arms raised. But in front of a small door in the Seminarkirche I fell, for there was a step which I had not expected. It made a little noise, the next street lamp was sufficiently far away, I lay in the dark. From a tavern opposite came a fat woman with a lantern to see what had happened in the street. The piano within continued playing, but fainter, with only one hand, because the pianist had turned toward the door which, until now ajar, had been opened wide by a man in a high-buttoned coat.

His face bore the artless expression of a man who meditates and makes no effort to conceal it. From time to time he closed his eyes: on opening them again his chin became distorted. "The landscape disturbs my thought," he said in a low voice. "It makes my reflections sway like suspension bridges in a furious current. " I close my eyes and say: You green mountain by the river, with your rocks rolling against the water, you are beautiful. But it is not satisfied; it wants me to open my eyes to it.

But I'll be off now, you see --. ' "To which, without thinking, I said: 'That's certain. But you're coming from abroad and your servants don't happen to be with you. ' "He didn't answer. " d Continued Conversation Between the Fat Man and the Supplicant For some time already I had been trying to cheer myself up. I rubbed my body and said to myself: "It's time you spoke. You're becoming embarrassed. Do you feel oppressed? Just wait! You know these situations. Think it over at your leisure. Even the landscape will wait.

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The Night In Question: Stories by Tobias Wolff


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