William Black's debut short story collection looks closely at lives lived in the heart of coal country-now fracking country-in Northeastern Pennsylvania. Two miners battered by a cave-in try to wrestle down the river that altered the course of their lives. A suicide pact leaves a family and its town bewildered and struggling for words. A fracking crew confronts the vast mysteriousness of things hidden in the depths of the earth and the lives that take place on its surface.In these starkly beautiful, incandescent stories, characters struggle with the grip that their locale and its past have on them, and they are consumed by searching-for love, for escape, for brief moments of clarity that give them the courage to continue.William Black's stories have appeared in The Sun, The Southern Review, Threepenny Review, Crazyhorse, Prairie Schooner, the Florida Review, and many other journals and magazines. He lives in Scranton, Pennsylvania and teaches at Johns Hopkins University.
"Black is at his best as a social realist in a blue-collar milieu." - Kirkus Reviews Feb. 15, 2014