By Lynn Stegner
Kate Riley isn't the kind of heroine we meet in so much American novels. Self-centered, shape-shifting, pushed from one guy to a different and one urban to the subsequent, she is all too real—but in no way the dependable and regular homebody of idealized womanhood. once we first come upon her, Kate (or Katherine, or Kate of the Prairie, or Katrina) is ready to endure exploratory mind surgical procedure for a situation she herself has fabricated. Sobered through the gravity of the process, she commences a trip of reminiscence that takes us again to the Saskatchewan village the place she grew up and to the singular occasion that altered her eternally and irrevocably set the process her life. From her youth, during which she used to be held captive to a mom long gone mad, via her grownup lifestyles, which unfolds as a enthralling series of guys, deserted young ones, and perpetual flow, Kate’s tale is certainly one of desperation and noteworthy invention, a surprisingly American story, brilliantly narrated by way of certainly one of our most unusual writers. (20070413)
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Additional info for Because a Fire Was in My Head (Flyover Fiction)
And the two women — the one that had been and the one that would be — were left to each other. Many observed that Hugh Riley had waited until spring to die, as a kindness to Fiona. They knew him to be that sort of man. Seven years later, when Kate left, it was well into fall, with all of winter for her mother to face — and this too was noticed by the people of Netherﬁeld. ” “I can’t go, Mum. ” “Please let me stay. ” “Do you want to be ignorant? Do you want to be an ignorant Irish girl, talked about and pitied?
Fiona’s mind seemed to slide away with her voice, and into the silence the ticking parlor clock surfaced with a portentous insistence. Kate gazed out the window at Jan; he was using his handkerchief to wipe something from the windshield. kate 47 So that I can see clearly this place for the last time, Kate thought. When Fiona came around, she seemed surprised to ﬁnd herself standing where she was, and reached up to stroke the doorjamb as if to get to know it better. “Kate,” she said with a pleading voice, and her eyebrows wobbled hopefully.
Then Kate found a stick, drew a heartshaped cofﬁn outline around the creature, dug the stick in the mud at its head, and resumed her journey. The air moved past her gently, as if not wanting to disturb. Out kate 27 in the short furry new grass meadowlarks burst from underfoot. Without knowing where she was going she kept walking, and when she saw the cemetery past where the road curved toward Virden, it became her destination as if it had been her destination from the outset — the iron fence, the protective cypress trees bent away from the wind that came down from the north and west, the stone markers knocked crooked by frost heaves and which, from a distance, looked like her father’s bottom row of teeth.
Because a Fire Was in My Head (Flyover Fiction) by Lynn Stegner