Dark Matters: Seven Variations on a Theme



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"Dark Matters: Seven Variations on a Theme" is a collection of seven short stories, written in diverse styles, depicting diverse characters in diverse times and situations, whose diverse fates are united by a common theme: the power of illusion. The characters include: an impecunious waitress in post WWII Wisconsin; an easygoing American twenty-something in a despotic Latin-American fiefdom; a deceased neer-do-well Vietnam veteran; an elderly post-Depression female mountain recluse who befriends a youtful hillbilly fugitive; a newly-rich retired plumber in early 20th-century New England, whose penchant for philosophy is no match for the irrational onslaught of love; a benevolent teacher of English, whose gesture of piety becomes a latter-day parable of human fate; a proud Midwestern prep-school pedagogue, whose life and precarious dignity are overturned in one mad self-revelatory morning. In these seven tales, the episodic futility of human striving is matched against the episodic nobility of the human heart.