Holding Pattern: Stories
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Holding Pattern: Stories

3.74 of 5 stars 3.74  ·  rating details  ·  27 ratings  ·  4 reviews
The world of Jeffery Renard Allen’s stunning short-story collection is a place like no other. A recognizable city, certainly, but one in which a man might sprout wings or copper pennies might fall from the skies onto your head. Yet these are no fairy tales. The hostility, the hurt, is all too human.

The protagonists circle each other with steely determination: a grandson ta...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published September 2nd 2008 by Graywolf Press
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The stories in Holding Pattern, zeroed in on the lives of African-Americans in Chicago-like brick city, can be enjoyed simply for their lyrical beauty and rich humanity. But for readers who follow closer and probe deeper there are even greater rewards. The key to the cipher is in the title itself: for each story Jeffery Renard Allen fashions a delicate patchwork of leitmotifs and allusions, leaving clues to moments of strange and sudden transcendence in otherwise naturalistic writing. Often brea...more
Jan 05, 2009 Stop added it
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The stories in Jeffery Renard Allen’s new collection, a followup to his acclaimed debut novel, Rails Under My Back, are self-contained units, proceeding in accordance with their own inimitable logic. Some establish captivating worlds haunted by the specters of poverty and delinquency, while others tailspin and end abruptly, without explanation or resolution. As with the world he describes, Renard Allen’s characters and plotlines frequently implode...more
Despina Panagakos Yeargin
While I underlined a few sentences for their beauty and perspective; while this book came recommended by a learned friend, I just didn't get it.

For those who DO get surreal or who DO enjoy Gabriel Garcia Marquez, this will be right up your [reading:] alley. My alley leads to other books, but don't let me steer you away. This book comes highly recommended by established and well-regarded writers. I had to let go and finish "trying to get it" 3 stories shy of finishing.

Allen has a good eye for th...more
Sidik Fofana
SIX WORD REVIEW: Three Hatches. Single moms. Copper pennies.
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Jeffery Renard Allen is an Associate Professor of English at Queens College of the City University of New York, the author of two collections of poetry, Stellar Places (Moyer Bell 2007) and Harbors and Spirits (Moyer Bell 1999), and of the widely celebrated and influential novel, Rails Under My Back (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2000), which won The Chicago Tribune’s Heartland Prize for Fiction. Hi...more
More about Jeffery Renard Allen...
Song of the Shank Rails Under My Back Land-Grant College Review Issue No. One Harbors and Spirits Stellar Places

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