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The Middle of Elsewhere


There is no map of The Middle of Elsewhere. It's a territory bordered by Far Left Field and Off the Beaten Track, both in exterior and interior ways.

The collection begins with a middle-aged couple venturing forth to reclaim their lost youth in the ghost town of Terlingua, far west Texas. The book continues with a woman in the Ozarks building a doll-house shrine to Elvis as a hedge against time. A woman snakehandler in the trans-Pecos faces her demons the hard way. A visionary half-breed boy in Nussa Tengarra, Indonesia, commits a sin that brings the wrath of a whale upon his village. A young woman in San Francisco accidentally kills a bicyclist from El Salvador and goes on a journey to discover him. A musician buries his brother in the Mojave Desert along with his guitar. A young chambermaid leaves a letter to the people of the future in a time capsule in Arkansas. The book comes full circle back to Texas with two children riding an Orphan Train past the point of no return.

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Book Reviews:

Childless parents and parentless children; strangers and family zealously grieving their dead; the ghosts of Elvis and John Lennon - all are among the vividly realized characters populating Moore's exquisite collection of short stories that explore in nuanced and discerning ways the unforgiving landscapes of the psyche as well as those in the physical world. In "Truth or Terlingua," the opening novella, a battered RV and a desolate scrap of land may contain all the mystery a middle-aged couple needs to recapture the magic of their youth. In "West of Rain," a father resolutely tries to rebuild a life for himself and his son on a stark mountainside. Whether the action takes place in a dusty, two-bit bar in the path of a raging tornado in Oklahoma or on the roiling seas near an Indonesian fishing village, Moore's glittering imagery and spirited phrasing turn each intuitive and fiercely perceptive exploration of the human condition into a sumptuous journey of delight and discovery. - BOOKLIST, Carol Haggas

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Alison Moore
P.O. Box 40745
Austin, TX 78704
(512) 393-9457
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