The Darkness Call: Essays

price:  $20
isbn:  9780807168905
pages:  164

These essays combine a journalist’s relentless investigations into the darkest corners of the human condition with an academic’s love for snippets of unlikely arcana. In one essay almost forgotten homeopathic recipes from the pantries of Pennsylvania Dutch country are interwoven with the panicked absurdities of elementary school health classes in the 1960s. In another old case files of small town murders intertwine with meditations on all the fears, large and small, that accompany parenting.  In his latest collection, Gary Fincke plums the depths – child abuse, violence, illness, grief – not for their darkness but for moments of courage, hope, empathy, and light.

“The Darkness Call: Essays reflects on what lurks, on what can catch us unawares. From viruses and space junk to atomic bombs and murderers, what might be an shadow or suggestion takes on the shape of the real. Gary Fincke’s collection reminds us that nothing is sure, nothing is certain; everything can dissolve or explode in an atomic second. The book is a call to hold what we love, to love what we hold. Ever-changing, surprising, engaging, and enthralling as a skyscape from which the unexpected falls, these essays deliver a beautiful and spectacular show of subjects and forms”

-Jenny Boully

“Innovative, vibrant, and intricate, these essays journey through laughter, contagion, martyrdom, and the history of the atomic bomb. Fincke is a gifted writer, and one who knows that the greatest beauty, and the deepest surprise, is always found in the details.”

-Dinty W. Moore

About Gary Fincke
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Gary Fincke has published thirty-one books of poetry, short fiction, and nonfiction, most recently The Out-of-Sorts: New and Selected Stories (2017) and Bringing Back the Bones: New and Selected Poetry (2016). Winner of the Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction and the Ohio State University/The Journal Poetry Prize, he has published work in such periodicals as The Paris Review, The Missouri Review, Newsday, The Georgia Review, The Kenyon Review, Poetry, Black Warrior Review, and CrazyHorse.  He has been twice awarded Pushcart Prizes for his work, recognized by Best American Stories and the O. Henry Prize series, and cited fifteen times in the past eighteen years for a “Notable Essay” in Best American Essays. He has just retired as the Charles Degenstein Professor of English and Creative Writing at Susquehanna University.