The stories in this collection vary in tone and time period, as well as the age and gender of their protagonists. But what they have in common is that they are all about love. Too much. Too little. Love's permutations, complications, substitutions and -- above all -- the way it sometimes lays waste the psyche. Several of these stories can be read at:
Additional stories from this collection can be read in recent issues of And Then, The Same, and Confrontation. See About Jim for more on these and Jim's other publications.
The Condor's Shadow
Thirty-four year old Clayton Poole has wandered state-to-state, changing identities for nearly two decades. Finally about to start life as a small-town Montana journalist, he is suddenly confronted by his darkly checkered past: the love of his life--Maddie--whom he'd felt forced to surrender, and the violent act that first expelled him onto the road and changed his life forever.
Set in California, Montana, and the Pacific Northwest, The Condor's Shadow tells Clayton's story in a layered fashion, moving fluidly back and forth through time from the early 1950s to the present, as he struggles to escape, rectify, and finally reconcile the forces that have shadowed his life.
Compelling, suspenseful, poignant and romantic, The Condor's Shadow has already received great reviews from early readers. It's "a haunting story [with] powerful observations of nature and love" (D. Donovan, Senior Reviewer, Midwest Book Review), and "A ferocious current keeps pulling you along" (Robert Roth, author of Health Proxy and Book of Pieces).
Jim is completing a book of short stories based on his life and that of his parents on a corporation farm in California's San Joaquin valley. Look for Soil, Sand, Stories in late fall 2019 or early 2020!
A young Russian history professor back in the seventies. Sexual intrigue. Campus politics. All leading to.... But why give away the rest of the story? Read it for yourself!
Here's what fellow writers are saying about this exciting novel, now looking for a publisher:
"Swift, profound, and engaging, Wounded by History gives us a vivid portrait of
American academia and its "casualties" in the
1970s. Jim Story's novel is laced with humor
and a heartfelt passion that resonate all the more
deeply for their sharp satirical edge. This fine
debut novel satisfies on all levels."
— Ben Fountain, winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk, as well as the Pen/Hemingway Award and Whiting Prize.
"A vise and a twisting road.... Is it possible to experience those two sensations simultaneously?
It is if you read Story's book which both grips and takes you to unexpected places."
— Karen Swenson, National Poetry Series author of Our Lady Of Bangkok
"Like all great reads, Jim Story\0x92s debut novel Wounded by History is, in fact, many works at once: a
hard-eyed look at an academic Tower whose Ivory consists of needle-sharp tusks; the ribald,
Rothian confessional of a protagonist whose loneliness and libido wage a tag-team battle with
experience and common sense; a compendium of vividly-drawn, engaging characters whose
words and actions often surprise, in piquant yet plausible ways; an unblinking account of the long,
dark night of one man\0x92s soul; and, finally, a searching meditation on the meanings of history,
love, inspiration, purpose and survival. Moving and amusing, thought-provoking and boldly
sincere, this concerted, concise History seems poised to make some of its own."
— Paul McComas, author of the novels Planet of the Dates and Unplugged
"James Story\0x92s splendid novella, Wounded by History, startles the reader with its surprises and
ingenious disclosures almost as often as it startles the fiction\0x92s brave, if somewhat naive hero,
Edgar Holmes, passionate teacher of Russian history. In this remarkable work of comic irony
and its world of 1974 American academic politics, Holmes identifies with an early Russian
revolutionary Kartashev, who, though "wounded by history," still tried "to shine a little light" on the
"deepest recesses of the human soul." Holmes, too, is wounded by the history of his own life,
and must, like a hero, execute a rescue, but not of the two distressed women in his life he cannot
help (and who cannot help him). Story\0x92s 21st Century hero finally realizes he must rescue
himself from himself or succumb to his wounds and become a victim."
— Philip Miller, prize-winning poet and editor/publisher of The Same
Illustrations from paintings by E. Minton.