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Synopsis

"These [stories] are rust-belt blues, then, a vision of and lament for a past time and a swiftly changing place. They're not showy—the language is plain, the tragedy muted, the comedy low-key and wry—but they stick in the mind. Ray Carver would recognize these characters and situations, as would poet Philip Levine. I like to think that they would share my appreciation for this fine first book, built slowly and carefully over some years, and worth the wait."—Andrea Barrett, from the foreword

Jerry Gabriel delivers an unsentimental portrait of rural America in Drowned Boy, a collection of linked stories that reveals a world of brutality, beauty, and danger in the forgotten landscape of small-town basketball tournaments and family reunions. In "Boys Industrial School," two brothers track an escaped juvenile convict, while in the titular novella, a young man and woman embark on a haphazard journey to find meaning in the death of a high-school classmate. These stories probe the fraught cusp of adulthood, the frustrations of escape and difference, and the emotional territory of disappointment––set in the hardscrabble borderlands where Appalachia meets the Midwest.

Jerry Gabriel studied at Ohio State University, Northern Arizona University, and the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop. He has worked as a science writer and taught writing at a number of colleges and universities, including, from 2001 to 2008, Cornell University's Engineering Communications Program. Currently, he is a visiting assistant professor of English at St. Mary's College of Maryland.

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