Alone With the Owl , by Alan Davis

Minnesota Voices Project - Number 97

Short Fiction Book Reviews

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Alone With the Owl , by Alan Davis

            Alone With the Owl (paperback, 141 pages, first edition July 2000) is a collection of fourteen short stories by Alan Davis, a native of Louisiana who now teaches English at the University of Minnesota. Davis is also one of the editors of the journal American Fiction.

            The title of the book is the title of the thirteenth story in the collection. In Alone With the Owl (18 pages), a minor league baseball player, haunted day and night by the imaginary image of an owl with large, staring eyes, finds himself robbing a convenience store. He is unable to explain his behavior to his wife; indeed, he cannot explain it to himself. She says that he should "plead insanity."

            The first story in the book is Traveling by Moonlight (13 pages). A group of men, and a separate group of women, "tell stories" which enable them to sense and do various things, and go various places, which arise from their imaginations. The last story is Rough God Goes Riding (7 pages). A soldier, who doesn't feel as though he should be a soldier, endures the early morning drills, and has his eye on a female G.I. who has been promoted to Delta Force.

            The story Suddenly I Meet Your Face (8 pages) was the basis of a rock opera adapted and directed by Todd Deming. It was performed in 1992.

            Alan Davis has received deserved praise from Dorothy Allison in the New York Times Book Review. ( Click here to search Amazon.com for all titles by Alan Davis )

            Alone With the Owl is Number 97 in the Minnesota Voices Project series published by New Rivers Press. The project is an annual competition the purpose of which is to promote Minnesota's emerging writers. New Rivers Press is a nonprofit publishing company funded by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), the Minnesota State Arts Board established by the Minnesota State Legislature, and several benefactors. ( Click here to search Amazon.com for all titles in the Minnesota Voices Project series )

Reviewed by Mike Lepore for crimsonbird.com

This is an Amazon.com link for Alone With the Owl , by Alan Davis
Minnesota Voices Project, Number 97
    Table of Contents
    Alone With the Owl - Stories by Alan Davis
    Minnesota Voices Project #97

    Traveling by Moonlight		1
    The Solid Earth			14
    The Giving				33
    Suddenly I meet Your Face		44
    Catch and Release			52
    Movement of Natural Light		59
    Black Ash Pinwheel			72
    Spending the Day With Donald Trump	79
    Women of the Brown Robes		84
    Battle of New Orleans		95
    Beauty of Tropical Places		105
    The Vanishing			111
    Alone With the Owl			114
    Rough God Goes Riding		132

    Acknowledgements			139
    About the Author			141
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   To: index at cbird.8m.com
   From: dcatherine2 at uswest.net
   Subject: Book for review
   Date: Tue, 31 Oct 2000 19:53:20

   Alone with the Owl
   Alan Davis
   isbn:  0-89823-203-1
   New Rivers Press
   Distributor: The Consortium

   "Davis has an original talent, a feel for action, a sparse yet vivid
   style, a shart satirical sense, a keen eye and ear for the follies of
   the age."  -- Walker Percy

   "A magical collection of stories, one of the best I've encountered in
   years." -- Tim O'Brien

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Minnesota Voices Project #97
Alone With the Owl , by Alan Davis

Link to the site main index : book reviews - all categories Link back to the FICTION page