A Book of Fields is a collection of stories about the men and
women of the Pioneer Valley in Western Massachusetts. The
character types and locales will be recognizable to anyone
who has spent time in the area. A few stories share
characters. Stories include a crime like when the junkie son
of a railroad man tries to rob a train or some local kids
attempt a hold up at the local diner where the mayor and the
police chief are having breakfast! There is a town out of time,
a ghost in the reservoir, protest marchers, history and magic
to delight the imagination and soul of the reader.
Odeon Press published my latest literary fiction collection of short stories: A Book of Fields: Tales from the Pioneer Valley, in September of 2019.
Here’s some praise for A Book of Fields:
This book contains small semi-historical Raymond Carver-ish short story gems that carry “an embossed stamp of history on the tongue,” as the author so beautifully puts it in one of his tales. My home for the last 50 years has been in Massachusetts, in the Connecticut River Valley where all of the stories are set. One even takes place in my own town. I recognize these people, these settings, these problems. This is not reportage but a world of real ghosts and pretend ones, of missing girls, historical re-enactments, and town meetings. Not to be missed.
- Jane Yolen, winner of the 2019 Massachusetts Book award, for the novel Mapping the Bones, and the Ann Izard Storyteller’s Choice Awards for two collections: How to Fracture A Fairy Taleauthor, and in fact 375 other published books.
A Book of Fields is a marvelous, wry, exuberant collection of stories, filled with the human and the magical. I love how each story is its own “field,” ready to surprise and move you, as you walk into it. A witty and inspiring fictional portrait of this region of New England.
- Harriet Scott Chessman, author of Lydia Cassatt Reading the Morning Paper and The Beauty of Ordinary Things.
Three kids rob a diner in Greenfield where everyone knows them. A boy goes to the Big E in West Springfield and runs away with the circus. An animal control officer has to shoot a moose in Sheffield. These deceptively simple fictional stories explore the magical landscape of the Pioneer Valley (or slightly beyond), populated not by magicians or wizards but by very real human beings; it’s a portrait of a changing world and the men and women who inhabit it: hardy, independent, passionate, hardheaded, sometimes a little crazy.
“A Book of Fields may be the
best book I have reviewed this year.”
– Tinky Weisblat, Hampshire Gazette