Conjugations of the Verb To Be
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In one of Glen Chamberlain’s magnetic new stories, “Off the Road; or, The Perfect Curve Unfound,” the narrator sets off from Seattle for Michigan, “once again making the decision to leave before being left.” At Three Forks, Montana, a flight of geese take her off the road, into the Crazy Mountains, into a place the Indians consider one of the centers of the world, where she finds her own center. Each of the stories in this irresistible collection inhabits a center of the world, a piece of Montana country that she makes uniquely her own, whether she is writing about rearing Arabian horses, or building the three-generation history of a family around the evolution of hay-stacking, or ice-skating with Kate Brethwaite, the formidable physics teacher at Buckle High School, as she makes her increasingly exhausting journey by way of ice from a community skating place to her locked and forbidding home. Whether the stories are about living, loving or dying they inhabit the essences of their actions and compel the reader to view fresh terrains of the author’s rich and original imagination. “Here are stories composed with spare and lovely and graceful prose, patterned by insight, revelation and passion, and finally wisdom.” —Mark Spragg, prize-winning novelist and author of the memoir Where Rivers Change Direction “I read these stories at the end of a particularly long, grey, frigid Montana winter, and found myself feeling like a traitor for ever fantasizing an exodus from this rare and sometimes painfully beautiful state I’ve called home for seventeen years. Each word chosen as if a gift from nature, page by page, Chamberlain reintroduced me to this lover of mine in a way that felt so familiar and true that I lost myself in it from the very first paragraph.” —Laura Munson, author of the memoir This Is Not the Story You Think It Is . . . Glen Chamberlain has won a Pushcart Prize, the first Gilcrease Prize for fiction, and the Rona Jaffe Award for both fiction and creative nonfiction. The Rona Jaffe Award named her “one of the six most promising women writers in the nation.” She lives with her husband in Bozeman, Montana, where she teaches writing at Montana State University.