These are stories of the American West, a 21st century West where everyone works a shit job; whose denizens know all too well that the dreams they’ve dreamt of that place are just that, dreams; where the natural world has all but disappeared—often because we refuse to look up and see it. Like the inland sea that gives this collection its name, whose algae blooms “cumulous, bloody forms just under the surface,” there is beauty in their ruin.
George McCormick’s writing as clear and direct as a fast-moving river, but the lives of his characters never run straight. As his narrator tells us, “In the West what we love most are lies. What we love are images of a stampede, of animals running; of what we think are the right stories of stealing away.” Don’t let these marvelous stories slip past you.
Features “The Mexican,” a PEN/O. Henry Prize Story for 2013
George McCormick was born in Fontana, California, in 1973; he graduated from the University of Wisconsin and holds an MFA from Cornell University. After many years in California, Montana, Wisconsin, New York, and Virginia, he now teaches at Cameron University with his wife, Susan Hall. His chapbook You Know Better But I Knew Larry Hinjos was published in 2001 by the University of Wisconsin Union. His fiction has been published in many magazines, including American Literary Review, CutBank, Epoch, Fugue, Hayden’s Ferry Review, and Santa Monica Review.
$15 Paperback | Published 2013