The stories in this memorable collection explore the rigors of life in northern Michigan, a harsh terrain where winters linger, marriages often fail, and the emotional climate can be as severe as the physical one. Jack Driscoll writes about ordinary working-class people struggling to get along as best they can. With remarkable control, he portrays the uncertainty and impulsiveness of boys on the edge of manhood, the loneliness of women cut off from their families, and the ambivalence and anger of men who have come to see that love is neither simple nor secure. In the title story, three boys in the dead of winter test their theory that it should be possible to swim underwater from one ice-fishing hole to the next. In "Pig and Lobsters" a son watches his father plan a fancy dinner for a date who never arrives, the father's anticipation turning to rage as the evening unfolds. "August Sales" tells the story of a census worker with a chronic sleepwalking disorder who is haunted by his wife's decision to leave him. The protagonist of "Devotion," a woman recovering from dental surgery, finds herself holding a gun on a young intruder who has broken into her house. In each story, Driscoll masterfully conveys the fragility of human contact and the complex topography of the heart.
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Used availability for Jack Driscoll's Wanting Only to Be Heard
November 1992 : USA Hardback
April 1995 : USA Paperback