Precarious

Precarious

Stories of Love, Sex, and Misunderstanding


Al Riske

Includes “Pray for Rain,” winner of the 2008 Blue Mesa Review Fiction Prize

 

The stories in Precarious are about doing the right thing and regretting it. About making bets and dancing naked. They play out in rain-soaked Seattle and drought-stricken California. In the front seat of Mom’s Malibu and a vacation cabin on Cape Cod. On a tiny island and in a desert filled with light and heat and sand that slips through your fingers like friendships you once had. In these fifteen stories you will meet a boy trying to make it through that summer between the end of high school and the start of something else. A woman attracted to a man with muscles, because it makes her feel safe . . . until it doesn’t. A man who can only imagine what it’s like to sleep with many different women, but that’s OK—he has a good imagination. In prose that is by turns spare and lyrical, the stories of Precarious capture the feeling of late summer. A never-ending game of Kick the Can. All sense of time lost among the stars.



“The art of the short story is alive and well in the hands of Al Riske, who understands how to walk the tightrope of subtle emotional resonance.” —Catherine Ryan Hyde, author of Pay It Forward, Love in the Present Tense, Chasing Windmills, and many others.

“Riske’s characters brim with the fears, desires, and idiosyncrasies of real, complex human beings. In the collision of spiritual and sexual concerns that plague them, we find a truth that makes us believers in the power of his fiction.” —Laura Matter, Blue Mesa Review

“This book will stay with you long after you close it and put it away. You’ll no doubt pick it up again for a second read, maybe even a third.” —Reading at the Beach


DOWNLOADSDiscussion questions PRECARIOUS
Discussion questions for Book Groups and educators.
Why I wrote PRECARIOUS
Discussion by author, Al Riske, about the process and motivation in writing PRECARIOUS.

Al Riske grew up in the Pacific Northwest and has worked as a newspaper reporter, magazine editor, and ghostwriter. His short stories have appeared in Beloit Fiction Journal, Pindledyboz, Switchback, and Blue Mesa Review, where his story “Pray for Rain” won the review’s 2008 fiction prize. He now lives in California with his wife, Joanne, and their dog, Bodie.

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Story Behind the Story: “Men Are Such Boys”
3/1/2011
This one is a story about an older woman dating a younger man. “Men Are Such Boys” was written before the term cougar became popular, and I don’t think of the woman, Deirdre, as a cougar, which has taken on a derogatory connotation. This is simply a story about a woman who thinks of all [...]

Story Behind the Story: “Men Are Such Boys”
3/1/2011
This one is a story about an older woman dating a younger man. “Men Are Such Boys” was written before the term cougar became popular, and I don’t think of the woman, Deirdre, as a cougar, which has taken on a derogatory connotation. This is simply a story about a woman who thinks of all […]

Story Behind the Story: “Just Admit It”
2/2/2011
“Just Admit It” is another one of my earliest stories. The first draft was written for a creative writing class when I was in college. To this day, more than 30 years later, I remember the instructor telling me where the story picked up interest for him, which was about a third of the way [...]

Story Behind the Story: “Just Admit It”
2/2/2011
“Just Admit It” is another one of my earliest stories. The first draft was written for a creative writing class when I was in college. To this day, more than 30 years later, I remember the instructor telling me where the story picked up interest for him, which was about a third of the way […]

Story Behind the Story: “What She Said”
1/5/2011
This was my breakthrough. That’s what I thought when I wrote it. But it didn’t become my breakthrough for another decade. When I wrote “What She Said,” I was working for a city magazine in San Francisco and the executive editor wanted to publish it. Her boss, as it turned out, did not. Aaargh! So [...]

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Paperback1-935462-32-6$16.95
E-Book1-935462-36-9$9.95
CategoryLiterature
ImprintLuminis Books
Publication Date2010-02-05
Publication StatusIn Print
Trim Size5.50 x 8.00
Page Count242
 

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