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"Blake demonstrates just how effective a spare prose style can be. Blake's beautiful, poetic diction adds intrigue and gravity to his characters and awakens the mystical, small-town Gulf Coast landscape... Blake has a knack for recreating vivid scenes from the natural environment and for evoking distinct psychological spaces through his characters. The stories in Return Fire are effectively linked by an imminent hopelessness, a recognition of the inevitable loss of both physical and psychological space in a changing American society. Those who know small towns and the people who inhabit them might feel a sense of nostalgia reading these stories. Blake takes us there, to these disappearing spaces, in his visually and verbally rich collection."