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“The stories in Acts of God are great postcards from the world of Ellen Gilchrist. It’s a world of war and strife and surprises, and it is, yes, marvelous to behold.” —The New York Times Book Review
Celebrated short story writer Ellen Gilchrist, winner of the National Book Award forVictory Over Japan, returns with her first collection in more than eight years. InActs of God, she has created ten diverse scenarios populated by characters dealing with forces beyond their control, yet somehow managing to survive, persevere, and triumph--even if it is only a triumph of the will. Wholly believable characters in all-too-real situations are given vivid life in these stories told with Ellen Gilchrist’s clear-eyed optimism and salty sense of humor.“A master of short fiction . . . [Gilchrist] is as sharp, funny and insightful as ever.” —The Atlanta Journal-Constitution“Gilchrist still has the power to turn a simple line into a profound insight on what it’s like to be human.” —Flavorpill.com“Reading Ellen Gilchrist is addictive . . . Her new work is filled with good people who show fortitude and even heroism under duress . . . In this age of edgy irony, her warm-hearted view of humanity is refreshing.” —NPR.org“Gilchrist is at her best when the wry and satirical mood strikes her . . . and it’s a pleasure to report that the best of the stories inActs of God rank with the best in her first collection and in her second, . . . for which she was awarded a richly deserved National Book Award.” —The Washington Post
The human race. You have to love it and wish it well and not preach or think you have any reason to think you are better than anyone else. Amen. Good-bye. Peace . . .
Master short story writer Ellen Gilchrist, winner of the National Book Award, returns with her first story collection in over eight years. InActs of God, she has crafted ten different scenarios in which people dealing with forces beyond their control somehow manage to survive, persevere, and triumph, even if it is only a triumph of the will.
For Marie James, a teenager from Fayetteville, Arkansas, the future changes when she joins a group of friends in their effort to find survivors among the debris left when a tornado destroys a neighboring town.
For Philipa, a woman blessed with beauty and love and a life without care, the decision she makes to take control of her fate is perhaps the easiest she has ever made. As she writes to Charles, her husband and lifetime partner, ?Nothing is of value except to have lived well and to die without pain.?
For Eli Naylor, left orphaned by a flood, there comes an understanding that sometimes out of tragedy can come the greatest good, as he finds a life and a future in a most unexpected place.
In one way or another, all of these people are fighters and believers, survivors who find the strength to go on when faced with the truth of their mortality, and they are given vivid life in these stories, told with Ellen Gilchrist?s clear-eyed optimism and salty sense of humor.
As a critic in the Washington Post wrote in reviewing one of the author?s earlier works, ?To say that Ellen Gilchrist can write is to say that Placido Domingo can sing. All you have to do is listen.