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Flying Time: Stories & Half Stories

Flying Time: Stories & Half Stories

Price: $14.00
ISBN 0-930095-14-6
196 pages
copyright YEAR,
publisher Signal Books

 

 

Flying Time: Stories & Half Stories

"Flying Time, by Elisavietta Ritchie, Signal Books, is the first full length collection of prose from a poet who richly commends words and memories, infusing these stories with vivid, tight, penetrating language. She remembers walks with her father, waterside snippets, a lifetime of treasures, with a final walk beside his wheelchair toward a picnic of eels. Ritchie shares teatime in Leningrad, dreams and nightmares of War years on the farm, arguments over the costs of coffins, impressions of priests in a Russian church far from home in Chicago. And delicious, mysterious descriptions of bugs, flowers, birds, brick walls, and efforts to scare away rats with a cap pistol discovered in a neglected attic. She even captures the occasional, strange allure of sorting laundry: 'Our king-sized sheets like tablecloths for the banquets of giants, pillowcases, despite so many washings, still hold our dreams.' More than 50 stories here, a constellation of bright, illuminating tales." -- The Book Reader

***

"My father is walking today!" I hold him by his belt as he leans into the metal walker and shuffles one step. I'm startled to be able to see over the top of his head. He used to stand six-foot two. "Come on, just one more step." Watitha Jones, the nurse in the doorway, applauds. His mind also meanders streets he hasn't seen for years, and he is soon exhausted from the excursion. Watitha and I guide him into his wheelchair, doubleloop canvas straps around the metal armrests, then tie them firmly behind the blue plastic back. Climber of mountains, swimmer of seas, he always chafed at restraint. Lately, however, he no longer seems to notice the cotton vest oddly dubbed a "posey" after its inventor. Still I hate to see him tied. But some days, with a sudden burst of adrenaline, or as if he could escape the pain, he tries to get up, and might fall again. The hip which splintered when he managed to take off on his own last July still aches. How one's world shrivels when one is in pain. My back.... " He can only think of himself," the supervisor noted last week. "Existence is limited to his bodily concerns." And yet... "The Baron came to call this morning," my father tells me in a low voice. "He brought his whole entourage. We are still in negotiations. We had quite a party. Percy and Gustav and Vladimir and.. ..'

 

reviews


On Flying Time: Stories and Half-Stories, which includes four PEN Syndicated Fiction winners:
"A quality often lauded as the mark of a brilliant writer is the ability to understand and celebrate difference among people. Ritchie achieves this with stunning dexterity....Her characters are all travellers, however, whether they move physically or within their minds, and they share their experiences...with genuine curiosity....These stories are brilliant explorations of humanity that not only deserve but virtually need to be read and understood in every community. -- Lindsay Throm, ABA Booklist


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"I read Flying Time with enormous enjoyment. It reveals delicate witchery and a teeming  imagination....I was crossing horizons of the spirit." -- D.M. Thomas, author of The White Hotel

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        "Elisavietta Ritchie delivers: language that makes music in your head, haunting images that cut close to the bone, wonderfully authentic explorations of a wide range of human experiences. She weaves a magical world that will draw you back again and again." Sandra Martz, editor and publisher, Papier Mache Press

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"Glows with the right word in the absolutely right place, unerringly chosen to set the mood and tone. Hints of Dostoyevsky and the families of Tolstoy in the works of a woman of today. Provocative!" -- Mary Sue Koeppel, Kalliope: A Journal of Women's Art

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"All good poets cannot write good prose, but Lisa Ritchie can. The sharply observed details, the detached but intimate voice, the subtle grasp of emotional configurations of these stories and memoirs glow like the blue and gold domes of Russian churches." -- Lloyd Van Brunt, author of Poems New and Selected 1962-1992, Working Firewood For The Night

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Lisa would love to hear from you as well, letters and comments and reviews most welcome. To purchase books, please include Title of book, price, and $1.50 postage and handling for single orders, plus $1.00 for each additional book on order. Send check or money order payable to Elisavietta Ritchie, addressed: Elisavietta's Books, P.O. Box 298, Broomes Island, MD 20615

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Elisavietta Ritchie
P.O. Box 298, Broomes Island, MD 20615
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