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Wrestling with Gabriel
David Lynn

Carnegie Mellon Short Fiction Series

Carnegie Mellon
2003 • 336 pp. 5 x 8"
Fiction & Literature

$15.95 Paperback, 978-0-88748-378-3

The debut novel by David Lynn.

Baltimore reporter Jason Currant is a classic burnt-out case: scarred by Vietnam and a recent divorce, he casts a jaded eye on the world, trusting no one. Then comes an improbable call from Iowa. His idealistic former brother-in-law has been charged with raping a fifteen-year-old girl. Could gentle Gabriel, who has devoted himself to organizing exploited workers, possibly commit such an act? His socialist friends respond with an emphatic no, blaming an out-of-control police force for setting him up. Jason is not so sure.

Traveling to Iowa, Jason encounters a vivid group of characters: Simon, the committed socialist willing to sacrifice anyone, even Gabriel, for the cause; Grey, Gabriel's Native American wife who sees all but reveals nothing; Leroy, the victim's father whose powerlessness and misguided anger lead him to violence; Costello, a policewoman hopelessly caught between her corrupt colleagues and her desire to do the right thing; and in the center, the enigmatic Gabriel, both saintly and naive.

Set against a backdrop of industrial and moral decay, Wrestling with Gabriel offers a gripping tale about the search for truth and justice. By the time the jury reaches its verdict, one thing is clear: Gabriel's fate will be decided but the larger questions will remain unanswered. Like Iris Murdoch, David Lynn has written a political novel that transcends the genre by confronting the moral complexities that go along with a commitment to an an ideal.

A remarkable accomplishment by a gifted short story writer, Wrestling with Gabriel is both a profound book and compelling story.

Reviews / Endorsements

"David Lynn is a technician of the first order. The skills he has already honed as a short fiction writer have been transformed into the writing of a novel of confrontation, style and grit. Lynn opens the dark spaces and skirts their edges with a piercing gaze. He fuses character and scene through an unintrusive language of clarity and precision. Constantly testing the boundaries of self and society, he questions the spiritual values we so often take for granted when engaging with fiction."—John Kinsella

"In Wrestling with Gabriel David Lynn has achieved the near-impossible: he has written a taut, absorbing page-turner that tackles the important themes of politics and social responsibility. This novel signals the arrival of a major talent."—Amitav Ghosh

"Offbeat and often gripping, David Lynn's Wrestling with Gabriel opens with two irreconcilably opposed accounts of the arrest of a labor organizer in Iowa. Was Gabriel Salter the victim of a frame-up? Or is he a sexual predator? Lynn's novel considers the possibilities, vigorously confronting mysteries that are solved and other mysteries that remain insolvable."—P.F. Kluge

DAVID H. LYNN's book of stories, Fortune Telling, was published in 1998 by Carnegie Mellon University Press. The Hero's Tale, a study of the modern novel, was published in 1989 by St. Martin's Press. Editor of the Kenyon Review, the international journal of literature, culture, and the arts, David Lynn teaches at Kenyon College and lives with his family in Gambier, Ohio.

Mon, 18 Jun 2018 12:06:24 -0500