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In this remarkable book, the author of Shiloh and Other Stories, In Country, and other award-winning books gives us powerful new stories that capture the restless energy of life in contemporary America. The characters here are travelers and seekers, feeling their way toward, or away from the defining moments of their lives. They roam out into the world to England, Alaska, Texas, Saudi Arabia, or ricochet back home to Kentucky, ceaselessly searching, exploring, testing for limits.
I felt strange, says Chrissy in With Jazz, as though all my life I had been zigzagging down a wild trail to this particular place. In Charger, a teenage boy races along the interstate, seeking the father who abandoned him years before. In Rolling into Atlanta, a young woman searches for the kind of authenticity she remembers from her rural childhood. In Proper Gypsies, Nancy deals with the shock of being robbed in London. In The Funeral Side, Sandra comes home to try to fulfill her responsibilities to her family, but yearns to escape again to Alaska and the northern lights that haunt her. Writing in the spare, precise, beautifully nuanced language for which she is famous, Bobbie Ann Mason expands her art here in dramatic and illuminating fashion.
These fascinating stories bring to life surprising individuals whose journeys shine a bright light on life as it is lived by many Americans today. Zigzagging Down a Wild Trail is a beautiful book by one of America's finest writers, a book full of drama, humor, and startling insights into the timeless longings of the human heart.
“Sitting down with one of these stories may well be the next best thing to going home again.” —The Wall Street Journal
“I love the way Bobbie Ann Mason writes, the way she brings her people to life in so few words. I’ve been a fan since Shiloh.”—Elmore Leonard
“Leaves the reader with an affecting portfolio of portraits of small-town lives caught in medias res.” —The New York Times
“In this shimmering collection, [Mason] brings to life a winning cast of men and women who forge on, even though their quest for home has compromised their dreams.”—The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
“Stuns with its effortless craft and lingering grace . . . Mason’s stories are masterful in their quiet simplicity.”—The Denver Post
“Mason’s great skill is in creating fully realized lives in the space of a few pages.”—The Miami Herald