By John Blair
Selected by way of Elizabeth Hardwick
It is tough to work out what lurks underneath the skin of a muddy river, an alligator-infested lake, or a John Blair brief tale. The deep currents that force a demure, religious, church-going girl to shoot her husband; the ripple impression of a hour of darkness rendezvous at church adolescence camp that is going slightly—then horribly—askew; the sinkholes which may swallow Porsche dealerships—or marriages; what's dredged up in American Standard can't simply be forgotten.
Set ordinarily in important Florida, Blair’s tales are jam-packed with humans dwelling lives of disquieting longing and obdurate isolation. For them, this can be the yank average, as ubiquitous and undistinguished as vitreous china rest room fixtures.
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American Standard (Pitt Drue Heinz Lit Prize) by John Blair