John Perryman’s latest collection of stories, Wait at Wood’s Edge, dramatizes varieties of reckonings familiar to Texans, and Americans, in the early twenty-first century. In his stories, flawed but earnest figures struggle to come to terms with the unexpected: betrayal, murder, shattered dreams, failed efforts at redemption, and—even worse—failure to recognize opportunities for redemption. In these deftly written pages, Perryman’s characters seek various forms of reconciliation between conflicting forces across a wide spectrum of the American landscape, navigating the economic, religious, social, and cultural tensions of today. From a pair of desperate grandparents trying their best to raise a haunted granddaughter, who early one morning bears a strange witness at wood’s edge, to a reimagining of the final days of the life of the skeptical Henry Adams, these tales dramatize the unexpected face of redemption with which we are sometimes met. And, as is often the case in the real world, these attempts at reconciliation, though honestly ventured, are not always welcomed or successful. But in this collection of tales, these all-too human lives always strive after a measure of dignity. And in that alone, perhaps, there is reason for hope.
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Published by Stephen F. Austin University Press