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My One and Only Bomb Shelter
John Smolens



Carnegie Mellon Short Fiction Series

Carnegie Mellon
2000 • 184 pp. 5 1/4 x 8"
Short Stories - Single Author

$15.95 Paperback, 978-0-88748-329-5



A collection of short stories by John Smolens.

The nine stories of John Smolens’ third book chart emotional and spiritual boundaries of the human experience. Teenaged boys search for sex, love and bomb shelters amidst the lawns of suburban Boston. A homeless woman pursues the Pope by phone. In the frozen north a prison escape plays out the delicate balance between compassion and betrayal. Set in off-season Cape Cod to the urban streets of Southern California, Smolens’ stories often combine the raw force of a blizzard with the emotional confinement of a confessional.

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Reviews / Endorsements



“The moral pendulum swings back and forth, back and forth, in this evocative collection. A must-read for anyone who grew up Catholic in the 1950s and 1960s. John Smolens’ stories are invested with humanity and compassion in the extreme.”—Edie Clark

“There’s dangersometimes palpable, sometimes faint or comic, but nonetheless realbehind each of these beautifully crafted stories in John Smolens’ collection. The sense of danger is what helps make these stories beautiful and compelling. Danger becomes a context for these stories and raises their stakes so that it seems that if no life is safe then no life is ordinary. Read the story “Cold,” and you’ll see the method at work; read “Cold,” and you won’t close this book again until you’ve read them all.”—Stuart Dybek

“Like his mentor and friend, Andre Dubus, to whom this book, in part, is dedicated, John Smolens writes with grace and insight of quiet, often foreshortened livessometimes moments of miraculous reprieve, but more generally of negotiating that area between desire and possibility where we all make our own way. A moving, large-hearted collection.”—Ehud Havazelet



JOHN SMOLENS is the author of two novels, Angel’s Head (1994) and Winter by Degrees (1988). His short stories, essays and articles have appeared in various magazines, including Yankee, Redbook, The Massachusetts Review, Cimarron Review, The Los Angeles Times, The Boston Globe, Grand Tour and The Virginia Quarterly. Educated at Boston College, the University of New Hampshire and the University of Iowa, Mr. Smolens is currently an associate professor of English at Northern Michigan University in Marquette.



Sat, 2 Dec 2017 12:05:30 -0500