Amid state parks and cities, from trucking to the rock-and-roll life, these stories reveal the twists and turns of human relationships Through quirky plots, one-of-a-kind characters, and more than a few twists, the stories in Big Bend examine gentle-hearted men and their relationships. From made-in-heaven meetings to troublesome liaisons, Roorbach's characters experience romance in unexpected, sometimes disastrous ways. In "Fog," a teenage boy learns hard lessons about canoes, the Gulf of Maine, sex, and love. A struggling young artist goes home for the holidays in search of succor for the stomach - and heart - with poor results in "Thanks-giving." Other stories recount the ultimately disastrous reunion of estranged friends, an unemployed architect's foolish courting with bad company, and a middle-aged rock star's struggle with the urge to settle down. In the title story, "Big Bend," a grieving widower, troubled by his own waning years, is tempted by a seductively attentive birdwatcher no older than his daughter. Poignant tales of hauntingly familiar situations, Bill Roorbach's stories are full of heart, romance, edgy humor, and the frequently concealed vulnerability of men.
Bill Roorbach is the author of Summers with Juliet and Writing Life Stories. He is also the editor of the Oxford anthology The Art of Truth. His short stories and essays have appeared in The Atlantic Monthly, Harper's, The New York Times Magazine, Granta, The Missouri Review, and other publications. Roorbach teaches in the graduate creative writing program at the Ohio State University, where he is an associate professor of English.