Cover image for Light in the crossing : stories
Light in the crossing : stories
Meyers, Kent.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : St. Martin's Press, 1999.
Physical Description:
226 pages ; 22 cm
Two-speed -- Easter dresses -- The husker tender -- Light in the crossing -- A strange brown fruit -- The heart of the sky -- Wind rower -- Making the news -- Glacierland -- The smell of the deer -- Abiding by law -- Bird shadows.
Format :


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This story collection examines men and women whose lives are intimately linked to farming the land of Cloten, Minnesota. Among them are a woman who returns to her family's farm, a farmer's son who plays a dangerous game of drag racing roulette, and a Harley-riding corn husker.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Meyers, who writes with biblical intensity, returns to the small Minnesota town of Cloten, the setting of his novel The River Warren [BKL S 15 98], in this collection of interlocking stories. He portrays farm people who possess an intimate understanding of death and the stoicism of those who routinely face the unexpected: the obliteration of a blizzard, ruined crops, a child's fatal accident. In the astonishing title story, two bored young men play "Cornfield Roulette," racing in the dark with their headlights off through the green tunnels late summer corn builds over gravel roads. Violence is always in the offing, whether it's the tough decision to shoot a beloved dog after it slaughters the family's chickens, or the slow percolation of revenge in the fairy tale-like "The Smell of the Deer." Attuned to the confusions of young boys, the deep loneliness and poverty of rural life, and the love of the land that makes it all bearable, Meyers renders midwest life mythic in its tragedies and privations. --Donna Seaman

Publisher's Weekly Review

Turbulent human emotions and the merciless natural world color Meyers's collection of 12 stories of rural life, set in Catheresque Cloten, S.D. An intriguing tale, "The Smell of the Deer," reworks the myth of Actaeon, giving us a sense of atavistic forces underlying the small town order. Jerrod Sinclair, who is so at home in nature that he can track deer by smell, is seduced by a mysterious woman he meets in the woods. When he returns to the woods the following spring, married, his lover spurns him, and Jerrod eventually dies of the disappointment. His widow, Sara, is then befriended by a newcomer, an "ageless" woman named Diane (read Diana), who buys Sara a puppy, which leads indirectly to Sara's gruesome end. The title story concerns two teenage boys who spend one summer playing a complicated version of chicken with their cars on country roads. Tony, the boy who suggests the game, and Robert, the narrator, are drawn by that troubling alchemy of adolescent friendships, the unsettling bond of family tensions. In "Bird Shadows" an unnamed daughter returns to her father's farm after her divorce. She wants the land, but her father intends to sell it. In his mind, it is cursed, the place where his father jumped from a silo. For her it is a refuge. The account of their crossed purposes is neatly embedded in the story of how the father originally chose the farm over the woman he loved best, and the regret he still feels. Myers (The River Warren) gives voice to the unreconciled oppositions of country lifeÄits solid satisfactions and its sometimes unbearable narrownessÄin these harsh, strongly felt stories. (Aug.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved