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In one of Glen Chamberlain’s magnetic new stories, “Off the Road; or, The Perfect Curve Unfound,” the narrator sets off from Seattle for Michigan, “once again making the decision to leave before being left.” At Three Forks, Montana, a flight of geese take her off the road, into the Crazy Mountains, into a place the Indians consider one of the centers of the world, where she finds her own center. Each of the stories in this irresistible collection inhabits a center of the world, a piece of Montana country that she makes uniquely her own, whether she is writing about rearing Arabian horses, or building the three-generation history of a family around the evolution of hay-stacking, or ice-skating with Kate Brethwaite, the formidable physics teacher at Buckle High School, as she makes her increasingly exhausting journey by way of ice from a community skating place to her locked and forbidding home. Whether the stories are about living, loving or dying they inhabit the essences of their actions and compel the reader to view fresh terrains of the author’s rich and original imagination.

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