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The Corridors of Longing
In the appropriately titled The Corridors of Longing, a wide variety of otherwise ordinary people anxiously face crucial choices. Personal trauma, anger, frustration, sexual desire, cultural shifts, work, and an assortment of other common issues are deepened and made singular, even in these very short stories, by the sharp focus of close observation.
In settings and situations that range from mid-20th century to the present, fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, friends and enemies alike are given unique voices. The heart of each story is found quickly and followed until something beyond the apparently familiar is made surprising, yet genuine. Despite their imperfections, the characters, through their struggles with understanding, reach moments of tolerance and sometimes, through perseverance, obtain compassion and even love.
Above all, despite how brief these stories are, they are nuanced and subtle. Instead of heroes and villains, there are characters who are complicated, with few exceptions, in less than a thousand words. In other words, they carry the weight of being human with varying degrees of success and failure. In other words, they are alive and demand our attention and respect.
“The Corridors of Longing takes us from stories about zoom meetings, to stubborn cows, to aliens in the cornfield and much, much more. This collection is a feast of language and storytelling told in a voice that is equal parts delighted and surprised with the scope of human-ess. All this done masterfully in the compressed packet that is the allure of flash fiction. One story will leave you feeling completely complete and yet, as the title suggests, longing for the next. Not to be missed, this one. ”
Francine Witte, author of Dressed All Wrong for This and The Way of the Wind.
“Gary Fincke's great gift is his power to condense human experience in a few pages or less. The stories in The Corridors of Longing succeed precisely where his characters' best instincts fail. Here we are treated to a banquet of quirky, mysterious, deliciously dark flashes that exemplify why this writer is a master of the form. With an uncanny gift for writing about people whom we feel we have always known, we are treated to perfect miniatures that resonate far beyond the pages they inhabit. This is carefully crafted fiction that gut-punches the reader with honesty and emotion. Simply stunning.”
Meg Pokrass, author of Spinning to Mars
“Fans of flash fiction know that the form’s smallness is a distortion, like calling stars pinpricks of light. In the hands of a virtuoso such as Gary Fincke, concision is a means to big and bold and dazzling. The 72 stories in this extraordinary and affecting collection form a vast cosmos of heat and energy, and from these ingredients, life blooms in all its scourge and splendor.”
Michelle Ross, author of They Kept Running and Shapeshifting
Since its inception, Gary Fincke has been co-editor (with Meg Pokrass) of the annual anthology Best Microfiction. His books have won the Flannery O’Connor Prize for Short Fiction, The Robert C. Jones Prize for Short Nonfiction Prose, and what is now the Wheeler Prize for Poetry. His latest collection of full-length stories is Nothing Falls from Nowhere (Stephen F. Austin, 2021). Besides having work chosen to appear in Best American Essays 2020 and Best Small Fictions 2020, he has recently published flash fiction at such sites as Craft, Wigleaf, Vestal Review, Atticus Review, Ghost Parachute, Pithead Chapel, New World Writing, and Flash Boulevard.