Reviews in 200 Words

The One-Room Schoolhouse (1993) by Jim Heynen

In Story Collections, Throwback Thursday (Short stories) on July 8, 2010 at 2:03 pm

There’s something about these boys that you can’t not crave; several things, really. A simple, wholesome life in a natural Mecca. Safety, freedom, immaturity, open space. And tiny threats, just on the edge of things. These boys don’t need names–we know them all by age and size. And the rest of the town’s people by trade or habit. There’s something entirely timeless about these short stories–you want to believe this place exists, even now. The moments in these stories–which rarely extend longer than a page or two–echo in the mind for their simplicity and the enormity of what they hold. They dance between prose poems and fables. These boys observe and learn–they’re rarely taught. They watch and mimic and judge. Boys and chickens and bulls and grubs. One summer day the boy walked out into the pasture to be alone. The land was flat, but he knew a place where maybe many years ago someone had taken out a big rock, and now there was a little dent in the grass, big enough to lie down in and not be seen. Seasons are distinct and full of smells. The changing and aging of young boys on a farm seems like the very essence of life–the very thing that makes grass grow.

-Micah Ling

Throwback Thursday = Once a month we’ll feature a not-so-new book that you may have missed, and should read.

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