John McManus's first book of fiction impressed a broad range of critics, novelists, and readers, courted comparisons to Faulkner and Joyce, and made him the youngest recipient of the prestigious Whiting Writers' Award. Now McManus returns with a collection of stories equally piercing and visionary.
Born on a Train is the fulmination of McManus's growing talent—stories about the young and old, compromised by circumstance and curiosity, and undergoing startling transformations. In "Eastbound," a car driven by two elderly sisters breaks down on an elevated highway; beneath them lies the lost country of the South, overran with concrete and shopping centers but still possessing the specters of the past. In "Brood," a plucky young heroine moves with her mother into the home of the mother's on-line boyfriend; she will use the Audubon Guide to Birds, and her own wits, to survive the advances the boyfriend's teenaged son. In "Cowrie," two backpackers in New Zealand race to witness the first sunrise of the twenty-first century.