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Book Title: The Theory of Light and Matter|
The author of the book: Andrew Porter
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 9.28 MB
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Reader ratings: 4.2
Edition: University of Georgia Press
Date of issue: October 15th 2008
ISBN 13: 9780820332093
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These ten short stories explore loss and sacrifice in American suburbia. In idyllic suburbs across the country, from Philadelphia to San Francisco, narrators struggle to find meaning or value in their lives because of (or in spite of) something that has happened in their pasts. In Hole, a young man reconstructs the memory of his childhood friend's deadly fall. In The Theory of Light and Matter, a woman second-guesses her choice between a soul mate and a comfortable one. Memories erode as Porter's characters struggle to determine what has happened to their loved ones and whether or not they are responsible. Children and teenagers carry heavy burdens in these stories: in River Dog, the narrator cannot fully remember a drunken party where he suspects his older brother assaulted a classmate; in Azul, a childless couple, craving the affection of an exchange student, fails to set the boundaries that would keep him safe; and in Departure, a suburban teenage boy fascinated with the Amish makes a futile attempt to date a girl he can never be close to.
Memory often replaces absence in these stories as characters reconstruct the events of their pasts in an attempt to understand what they have chosen to keep. These struggles lead to an array of secretive and escapist behavior as the characters, united by middle-class social pressures, try to maintain a sense of order in their lives. Drawing on the tradition of John Cheever, these stories recall and revisit the landscape of American suburbia through the lens of a new generation.
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Read information about the authorAndrew Porter grew up in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, the youngest of three children. He received his B.A. in English from Vassar College and an M.F.A. in Fiction Writing from the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop. He is the author of the short story collection, The Theory of Light and Matter (Vintage/Random House), which won the Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction, and the novel, In Between Days (Knopf), a Barnes & Noble “Discover Great New Writers” selection and an IndieBound "Indie Next" selection. Foreign editions and translations of Porter’s books have also been published in the UK, France, The Netherlands, Korea, Bulgaria and Australia. In addition to winning the Flannery O’Connor Award, his collection, The Theory of Light and Matter, also received Foreword Magazine’s 2008 “Book of the Year” Award for Short Fiction, was a finalist for The Steven Turner Award, The Paterson Prize and The 2009 WLT Book Award, was longlisted for The Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award, was shortlisted for the William Saroyan International Prize for Writing, and was selected by both The Kansas City Star and The San Antonio Express-News as one of the “Best Books of 2008.” Porter has also received numerous fellowships and awards for his work, including the 2004 W.K. Rose Fellowship in the Creative Arts from Vassar College, a James Michener-Paul Engle Fellowship from the James Michener/Copernicus Foundation, the Drake Emerging Writer Award from Drake University, an Iowa Teaching/Writing Fellowship from the University of Iowa, a Tennessee Williams Scholarship from the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, a Residency Fellowship from the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation, a Distinguished Faculty Award from Trinity University, an Artist Foundation of San Antonio Award, the Glenna Luschei Award and a Pushcart Prize. His fiction has appeared in One Story, Ploughshares, The Southern Review, The Threepenny Review, Epoch, Prairie Schooner, The Antioch Review, Narrative Magazine, Story, and The Pushcart Prize Anthology, among others. He has also had his work read on NPR’s “Selected Shorts” and selected as one of the 100 Distinguished Stories of 2007 by Best American Short Stories. Currently, Porter lives in San Antonio, where he is a Professor of English and Director of the Creative Writing Program at Trinity University.
To learn more, visit www.andrewporterwriter.com
You can also follow Andrew on Twitter at: @andrewporter01
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