Summary  Parallel 108

characters Parallel

Summary  Parallel 108 Ð [Download] ➵ Parallel By Sharon Erby – Bound by circumstance and tradition and mocked by the turnpike that bisects their farmland folks folded into the ridges beneath Timmons Mountain sense the world is literally passing them by and look f Bound by circumstance and tradition and mocked by the turnpE mystical on a mountain top and a discontented Amish woman faces a fate she believes her duplicity has earned herTheir tales reveal the resilience of the human spirit even as they evince the paradoxical nature of change. This collection is uniue because it brings together a cast of unlikely characters everyone from a woman garbage collectorto a womanizing clinical psychologist to an almost spinster Amish womanand puts them in an eually unlikely location the mountains of central Pennsylvania These stories may not offer the high drama often found in alot of contemporary fiction but they give a deep felt and original glimpse into an overlooked segment of society

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Bound by circumstance and tradition and mocked by the turnpike that bisects their farmland folks folded into the ridges beneath Timmons Mountain sense the world is literally passing them by and look for ways to catch up. Forthcoming in The Broadkill ReviewSharon Erby’s linked short fiction collection Parallel from Harvard Suare Editions weaves together the lives of men and women who struggle to make ends meet in the mountains of south central Pennsylvania The characters of Parallel come from various backgrounds but all of them are tied to the land tied to the mountain and tied to the real estate of the human heart Erby makes good use of setting to illustrate the spiritual connection between the characters who make up the human landscape of these stories The men and women are combat veterans academic transplants poor working class mothers the Amish and children dealing with their parents shortcomings The characters of Parallel possess a restless anxious energy that comes from having to scrape ends together compromising hopes and dreams to just get by They are looking for peace for “the still and always” a serenity matched and reflected by the landscape of the wilderness around them Erby’s work belongs to a rich tradition in American fiction telling the broad story of a place through a myriad of voices It’s rewarding work for the reader who can follow the protagonists as they appear throughout the stories One of the main characters is Brenda a hard working mother who might as well be single since her husband is concerned about drinking than being responsible And Brenda doesn’t take her problems lying down she’s a fighter willing to do whatever it takes to survive She even finds the love she needs on the side with fellow garbage collector Eddie who has his own demons From the outside the reader can see that Eddie is only a tick better than her husband but Brenda doesn’t seem to mind or care She’s looking out for herself so she can be a mother to her sons and a friend to her loved ones Erby tells the story of people and refuses to moralize regardless of how easy it would be to do so Her characters are deeply flawed and hurt but Erby resists the urge to preach or even present a series of characters who are perfect models Erby’s interested in the dark dense matter of humanity which means pain heartache and characters who fuck up over and over againOf particular interest to Erby is the outsider The outsider is woven into the DNA of these stories from the outset A Vietnam vet Martin struggles with the loss of his leg and then his progressing alcoholism His leg and his alcoholism are enough to make him an outsider but its when he comes home drunk one night ears pricked for the sound of hunting on the mountains that his otherness hits home “I’m goin’ up” he said randomly then pushing away from Grace to open the door of the old truck “This time I’m goin’” But he never does and you get the sense he never will having to rely on Grace’s to get him through the night and life It’s symbolic of his limitations of his leg of how he is stuck in the past It’s a theme which Erby plays with exploring the limitations of Brenda Martin’s daughter and Brenda’s children and the other people who live near them Just how far can one get when you are cut off from the world The characters live far away from high paying jobs new industry or well connected schools There’s only so much you can do regardless if you are a disfigured veteran a pill head or a single pretty Amish woman who wishes for love And of course Erby’s characters aren’t just isolated from the larger world they are isolated from themselves from their own needs and wants In one story Eddie Brenda’s garbage man lover tells her what she’s thinking about him and about her decisions in life trying to ease her anxiety about their affair and her lot in life “ you’re full of it Mr Edward Diffenderfer if you think you can figure out what’s really right—any than the rest of us morons who are just tryin’ to get through the day But B ya know—it’s all about takin’ things away and findin’ out what’s left And what’s left is what’s right” Like most of us these characters have to suffer through their problems before they find direction even if it is too lateThe characters of Parallel suffer from poverty of the heart either from want or from giving Erby reminds us that it isn’t money or class that fulfills us it’s our relationship with people Patrick the clinical psychiatrist and his wife Clare are the only middle class characters in the stories and neither one is happy in the most basic sense Both are frustrated with their own stagnancy Patrick eventually begins to troll the Amish farm stands and fins a glimmer of innocence or purity some kind of love that goes beyond what his wife Clare or his brother or even his children can give him in Anna As an outsider he begins flirting with Anna a single Amish woman who is than a little curious about Patrick and passionate love “her heart wanted second definition love Second definition love would bring pleasure too but it was pureSo what if she would never know this sort of loveBesides Anna rationalized finally too much is made of the notion of love anyway” Patrick the outsider intrudes upon Anna but not in an exploitative soap opera way This isn’t Witness and Erby shows us that all it takes is a kiss and a simple touch to upset our inner lives Anna is much like Martin the Vietnam vet from the opening story Both characters respond profoundly to simple gestures of kindness and love a touch of a hand or finger an invitation to dinner And both characters remain empty aching for something larger than the life they are livingParallel is full of tension the slow boiling kind of realism that acts as a mirror to our own consciousness These characters and these stories are about how to live a life how to be awake in the world and how to be connected to it Erby doesn’t provide any answers and her characters leave messy endings behind them in their wake In the end the stories here parallel our own American lives our fragile human hearts

Sharon Erby ´ 8 Read & Download

ParallelVeterans of several wars seek salvation through escape a female garbage collector reconciles death through correlation a clinical psychologist relies on a fictional detective to manage his obsessions a housewife finds th. Nice collection of short stories all having to do with folks living in a small area of the mountains near the Pennsylvania Turnpike Nice idea well executed There are characters that keep recurring from story to story but each story stands on its own as well I would recommend this to anyone that enjoys short stories or if you want a uick read between longer novels That was the space it filled for me and I have to say that it was nice reading an interconnected collection I read several literary journals regularly and even with themed issues there is little connection between the stories This worked out so well because of the connections and I was always anxious to see my favorite characters from previous stories re appear Nice and rather uick read