Keepsakes and Other Stories
"Jon Hassler is a writer good enough to restore your faith in fiction...His subjects are life, love, and death...and he writes with wisdom and grace."
--The New York Times
From Publishers Weekly
These seven gentle tales set in Minnesota and North Dakota and all written during the 1970s treat fans of novelist Hassler (A Green Journey; Jemmy) to the earliest fruits of his talent. Some are folksy portraits of small-town characters, while others are drier and more plot driven. Both the title story and "Resident Priest" feature crusty, 74-year-old Father Fogarty, a pastor who's leaving his parish after 23 years. In "Chief Larson," a seven-year-old Indian boy, known (rather improbably) only as "chief" on the reservation, rebels in a small but telling way against his white adoptive family. "Good News in Culver Bend" tracks two city reporters who travel to a small town and discover "the heart of Christmas." "Chase" and "Christopher, Moony, and the Birds" show how frustrated residents of small towns seek solace. The former, so brief it's nearly a prose poem, hints at Hassler's own adolescent discovery of his talent for fiction; the latter follows a lonely 50-year-old college professor as he goes on a consolatory walk with a student's awkward wife and child, watching "birds on family outings, hopping and halting on the grass." The cleverest story, "Yesterday's Garbage," follows a "garbologist" who finds the truth about a murder in a trash bin, and is then led to commit one himself.
Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
- By: Jon Hassler
- Format: Paper, 120 pp, 6.25x9.5
- Publisher: MNHS Press
- Product ##: 9780873517874