A man gains and loses many things on his journey from birth to death. Toward the end of life, it seems a man loses more than he gains. Retired heavy-equipment operator Cole Emerson has lost his wife, is about to lose his only sister, and is estranged from his daughter. He sells his trailer in Oklahoma and moves into his sister Elsie's house on Hardman Lake, a sprawling man-made impoundment in the lush Ozark Mountains of southern Missouri. Elsie is dying. During the day, Cole cooks, cleans, and tries to keep her comfortable, napping when she naps, adapting his needs to her schedule. At night, he escapes into the dark solitude of Hardman Lake to fish for bass and clear his head, until one night in Turnback Creek he sees a mysterious girl who awakens in him a young man's desires and old buried memories.
LONNIE BUSCH has worked as a painter and illustrator, creating artwork for corporations and institutions across the United States, including the 2002 "Greetings from America" stamps and the 2004 "Summer Olympics" stamp for the US Postal Service. His short stories have appeared in such publications as The Minnesota Review, The Baltimore Review, Chicago Quarterly Review,and The Southeast Review. Stories of his have also been finalists in the World's Best Short Short Story Competition in 2004 and the Tobias Wolff Award for Fiction in 2005. His most recent projects include the cover for Jimmy Buffett's latest novel, A Salty Piece of Land, as well as a block of forty new stamps for the Postal Service entitled "Wonders of America," which debuted in May of 2006.
What Readers Are Saying:
"Turnback Creek is a vividly realized, heart-rendering but never sentimental novella about one man's inability to go gently into death's good night. Lonnie Busch is an exciting new voice in Southern fiction." --Ron Rash