Stories by Jonis Agee
April 1, 2003 • 6 x 9 • 385 pages • 978-1-56689-138-7
In this stellar collection, Jonis Agee explores all the detours on the crooked road of love.
No one is better than Jonis Agee at capturing the bone-deep desire and big-eyed longing of a hardscrabble, small-town life. This major collection, highlighting Agee’s astonishing literary achievements, includes powerful new stories and a comprehensive selection from her critically acclaimed books Pretend We’ve Never Met, Bend This Heart, A .38 Special and a Broken Heart, and Taking the Wall.
Jonis Agee’s stories are as broad as their landscape, spanning the Great Lakes and traveling through the Great Plains on a straight shot to the heart. The New York Times refers to Agee’s short fiction as the “clear-eyed reports of someone who sees things as they are, not as she would wish them to be” and each story in this collection is raw, deeply memorable, and dedicated to brutally introspective and truthful moments.
In Acts of Love on Indigo Road, Agee’s characters continue to dream big and love deep while rushing headlong into the awareness that, finally, there are “only the dead to bear witness to what acts of love can do to the world.”
About the Author
Jonis Agee was born and raised in Omaha, Nebraska. She is Adele Hall Professor of English at The University of Nebraska, Lincoln, where she teaches creative writing and twentieth-century fiction.
She is the author of several books, including the widely praised Sweet Eyes, Strange Angels, and Bend This Heart, which were named Notable Books of the Year by the New York Times Book Review. Her first story collection from Coffee House Press, Bend This Heart, was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year.
Agee’s awards include ForeWord Magazine’s Editor’s Choice Award for Taking the Wall and the Gold Medal in Fiction for Acts of Love on Indigo Road; a National Endowment for the Arts grant in fiction; a Loft-McKnight Award; a Loft-McKnight Award of Distinction; and two Nebraska Book Awards.
“In story after story, the mask drops away from gentility, and we come face to face with the truth. These stories are beautiful because of their courage: there is nothing they are afraid to say.” —Charles Baxter
“By turns desperate and moving, Agee’s stories are fine-tuned to a certain eccentric kind of small town America.” —New York Times Book Review
“Terse, edgy and explosive, this collection proves conclusively that Agee still has her literary fastball.” —Publishers Weekly
“Agee looks for the flash of passion of emotional danger that illuminates the common experiences of ordinary people. Her stories are sharp and spare, rarely running to more than a few pages. In brief, deft strokes, she can sketch full-blooded characters at moments of life-defining crisis.” —New York Newsday
“Humble yet involving narratives fill the pages of this emotional and evocative collection . . . a ‘must read’ for Jonis Agee fans and admirers.” —Midwest Book Review