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The Old and the Lost

, 244 pages
October 2016



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The Old and the Lost

Collected Stories


"I was born in a land of bayous, raised between rivers," Glenn Blake writes. "There is a place in Southeast Texas where two rivers meet and become one. There is a long bridge over these waters, and as you drive across, you can look to the south and see where the Old River and the Lost River become the Old and the Lost. You can look out as far as you can see and watch this wide water become the bay."

These fourteen stories are set in the swamps, bayous, and sloughs of Southeast Texas, a region that is subsiding—sinking inches every year. The characters who inhabit Blake’s haunting landscape—awash in their own worlds, adrift in their own lives—struggle to salvage what they can of their hopes and dreams from the encroaching tides.

Glenn Blake has taught at Rice University, the University of Houston, and Johns Hopkins University. A senior editor at Boulevard magazine, he is the author of Drowned Moon and Return Fire. His short stories have appeared in American Short Fiction, Boulevard, Southwest Review, The Hopkins Review, Gulf Coast, and elsewhere.

"When he writes about it, you can feel it, smell it, taste it, hear it, see it, that strange, lost, unknown corner of Texas. It is a whole other country and Blake gives it to you with all its oddity and mystery, as it is."

"Reticent, closely guarded, and cryptic, Glenn Blake's terse prose partakes of poetry's careful measures. His stories concern rice fields, houses that disappear into the encroaching high water, and the poignantly named Old and Lost Rivers. He has caught with a peculiar mixture of sadness and humor the personality of this rough, modest, and little-known place."

"Angulo makes an important contribution to our understanding of the origins and development of for-profit higher education. His attention to the nineteenth-century institution is groundbreaking."

"Glenn Blake is an eloquent singer of Gulf Coast storms and tides, both meteorological and human. These collected stories are a true delight."

"Blake demonstrates just how effective a spare prose style can be. [His] beautiful, poetic diction adds intrigue and gravity to his characters and awakens the mystical, small-town Gulf Coast landscape."

"Blake's prose storytelling style is deceptively simple. He writes in a straightforward manner that belies the complexities of the human experience he is at the same time subtly presenting to his reader."

"Set in the Old South of Southeast Texas, these tales are spare yet atmospheric, with a profound sense of place. If Raymond Carver and Larry Brown had a love child, the result would be Glenn Blake... A writer of tightly constructed short fiction is not dissimilar from an artist who paints miniature portraits. Blake is a master."

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