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Wolverine Cirque, one of the steepest and most dangerous ski runs in North America, looms over this original short—a taut, gripping tale of male athleticism and love—by Joseph Olshan
Sam and Mike, top-notch skiers, hike miles off piste to face a harrowing headwall of snow, a sheer descent that challenges their skill, their endurance, and ultimately, their ability to survive.
At the center of the story is Sam’s painful and poignant reminiscence of a complicated and doomed love affair with Luc, a Division I soccer player who struggles with his identity and the surprising power of desire finally unleashed. As both men grapple with the intensity of their affection for one another, Sam is forced to reckon that his attempt to master Wolverine Cirque is really a futile effort to stay the arguably more difficult course of his declining youth.
“Olshan writes prose that sings.” —Los Angeles Times
“Olshan’s novels are novels of great obsession, of transcendent moments of perfect love set against a backdrop of hovering betrayal and death.” —The Guardian
“[Olshan has] an ability to address real intimacy in honest and vigorous ways. Sex, in particular, is written about with rare beauty.” —The Independent on The Conversion
Joseph Olshan is an award-winning American novelist whose works include Cloudland, The Conversion, Nightswimmer, and The Sound of Heaven. His critically acclaimed first novel, Clara's Heart, was the winner of the Times/Jonathan Cape Young Writers’ Competition and subsequently the basis for a motion picture starring Academy Award–winner Whoopi Goldberg. A former book reviewer for the Wall Street Journal, Olshan has written extensively for numerous publications including the New York Times, the New York Times Magazine, the Times (London), the Washington Post, Harper’s Bazaar, People magazine, and Entertainment Weekly. Once a professor of creative writing at New York University, Olshan currently lives in Vermont. His work has been translated into sixteen languages.
Moving and surprising
This short story by Joseph Olshan is astonishing in how much it manages to portray in just a few pages. In a tender love story interwoven with a man's reflections on ageing and mortality, with shades of Hemingway's "The Snows of Kilimanjaro", Olshan takes us on a journey that is as much about the past as it is about the vertical path down the dangerous pass of Wolverine Cirque. Olshan has many insights to share about the nature of love, and love of nature. Highly recommended.