"I was born in a land of bayous, raised between rivers," writes Glenn Blake in his latest collection of short stories. "There is a place in Southeast Texas where two rivers meet and become one. There is a long bridge over these waters, and as you drive across, you can look to the south and see where the Old River and the Lost River become the Old and the Lost. You can look out as far as you can see and watch this wide water become the bay."
The stories in Return Fire are set in the swamps, bayous, and sloughs of Southeast Texas, a region that is subsiding-sinking inches every year beneath the encroaching tides. The characters who inhabit Blake's Southern landscape struggle to salvage what they can of their hopes and dreams. They are the walking wounded-cautious, crippled, capable of any act. Magnolias, water, mescal, stars, and fire return again and again in these seven sparse-yet tightly written-vignettes.
Glenn Blake is the managing editor of The Hopkins Review and a senior lecturer at the Johns Hopkins University Writing Seminars. He has received the PEN Southwest Award for Fiction and the John N. Wall Fellowship from the Sewanee Writers' Conference. Blake is the author of Drowned Moon, also published by Johns Hopkins.