What's the Name of That Book??? discussion

The City of the Living & Other Stories
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SOLVED: Adult Fiction > SOLVED. Short Story; brutal father; boy builds Greek structure out of mud. [s]

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Stephen B. Kutzer | 5 comments I read a heartbreaking short story about a young boy who is building a Greek structure (which is the name of the story) out of mud. He hikes to a stream to dig out the mud. On his return, his father destroys it.

I thought it was either Andres Dubus or Wallace Stegner. I honestly don't read a lot of short stories. But when I search through their titles, I don't see anything that rings a bell


message 2: by Mai (last edited Jun 20, 2018 01:37PM) (new)

Mai | 1276 comments I started to write this a while ago and then the website crashed :-( (some sort of maintenance) I'll try to remember what I was saying!!
The City of the Living & Other Stories by Wallace Stegner has a short story called "The Volunteer". It's about a boy who volunteers to build a Roman castra (some sort of military camp, I think). He goes to a slough to dig out a special clay that he needs. When he gets back home his dad gets mad at him for being dirty and he ridicules him. Throughout the story the boy talks about his difficult relationship with his father.
I know this sounds different to what you're describing but sometimes what we remember is not necessarily what we read!
There's a copy of the book available at www.openlibrary.org if you want to read it online. You have to register but it's free!


Stephen B. Kutzer | 5 comments Ah, Thank you!! I thought the Greek or Latin word was longer and was the name of the story. But you are definitely correct. I do like Wallace Stegner quite a lot, even short stories. I remember one along the lines of “the sweetness of the twisted apples”. Nothing much happened, but it was so evocative of the feelings of the old in the sensual world.

Thanks again!


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