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Stories of mercy and need among lovers, family, and friends by "one of our very best short-story writers" (Anne Beattie).The war in Iraq is present in some of these stories, and so are the domestic wars; and, in every case, a character seeks to comfort or to save someone. "The Rescue Mission" is narrated by a man who runs a rescue mission out of a trailer in upstate New York. In his attempt to save a young woman from the brutality of her boyfriend, he is forced to confront the reality of his own mother's death. In "Good to Go," an estranged couple try to save their grown son from the scars of war. Physical love, familial love, the need to give comfortand the need for comfortare themes skillfully rendered by a master of the short story whose achievements have been acknowledged with the PEN/Malamud Award for short fiction and the American Academy of Arts and Letters Award of Merit for lifetime achievement in the short story.
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