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Annihilating Distance:

Selected Stories













Whether from next door or from history, these characters come right at you. In thirteen thrilling stories, circumstance forces them to decide what they most believe in and how they will behave—and to confront the implications. Deeply imaginative and passionate, the stories combine the excitement and pleasure of popular novels with the subtlety and seriousness of literary fiction.



from Rebels Outlaws Spies Dreamers Prisoners Strangers:

    Outlaws (Homage to Dostoevsky)

from Exhalations of the Intellect:
    Doing the Right Thing
    The Goddamn Stuff of Life
    Make A Wish, Joan
from Against Us, Tyranny:
    Zola, A Fiction
    Saint Camus
from Toward the Annihilation of Distance:
    I      Autumn Morning Child Tree
    II     Winter Afternoon Man House
    III    Spring Evening Stranger Bird
    IV    Summer Night Woman Rock





Published by Collioure Books in "trade" (high quality) paperback.

288 pages





“Deftly written… An impressive anthology of original short stories… Ranging from cruelty and betrayal to perseverance and lasting love, the tales comprising this multi-faceted literary treasury (with each new tale unlocking another layer of psychological complexity) are enthusiastically recommended…”
    —The Midwest Book Review

“Wonderful short stories… Very well written, very interesting, not your run of the mill stories.”
    —Northeast Public Radio “Book Round-table”

“…Deftly told and poetically rendered, full of the anxieties and small joys that characterize the everyday moments of human contact. Annihilating Distance is a terrific read.”
    —Michael Bernard-Donals, Professor of English, University of Wisconsin-Madison

“Vigoda's stories stand out from other contemporary writing: He's more interested in truth, ethics, and the moral relation of art to life… His voices are real, the ideas important, the sentiments intimate. We recognize things about ourselves we've glimpsed, but never seen so well as we do through his precise lens.”
    —Arthur Devenport, Lecturer in Liberal Arts, University of Chicago

“These learned and rich stories are dark and wry… They are full of the cruelty that drives the human in crisis, and they have the poet’s love of the natural web. …They are all protesting on behalf of a world pulsing with value, but always blocked in bloody fights of power and tyranny, greed and betrayal.”
    —David Shapiro, author of A Burning Interior and other works

…Illuminates issues shared with authors like Dostoevsky and Maupassant, Zola and Camus by linking them to their contemporary disguises. These impressive stories situate the reader with the author as witness, intent on… making visible the relevance of moral and ethical concerns in a post 9-11 world.
    —Julie Gutmann, Assistant Professor of Literature, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute




from Rebels:

As she came around the car he leaned over to open the door, leaned over again to lock it once she was inside, his arm across her like a safety bar, and stared at her, stared at her face, from that close. He stared at her eyes, into her eyes, at her eyebrows and eyelashes, at her cheeks, her lips, her hair, his face blank, like you would examine a photograph of someone interesting. Was she interesting, this unflinching unblinking let-me-know-when-you’re-through teenager, her face smeared so thick her make-up made a mask, her lips made large with red, her eyes with black?

from Strangers:

After they had clinked glasses and tested the first sip, he turned away. “I like your friends,” he mumbled, “but I barely know them. They’re so young.”
    “They’re as old as I am.”
    “That’s what I mean,” he said turning back.
    She took his glass away and put it and hers on the table. “We’re lovers,” she whispered, fixing his eyes. “Lovers have no age.”

from Zola, A Fiction:

Zola sits, suspended in time and place, unaware as yet that he has been struck by flying glass and is bleeding. He feels nothing and sees little, though he will claim to remember an intense alertness. His sole specific memory will be that of the face of one of the assailants…, a face profoundly unconscious of itself, contorted… into a mask, a repulsive version of itself. Though in five minutes Zola would be unable to identify the man in a group, he will later confide to Fasquelle that he will carry the vision of that face to his grave.

from Toward the Annihilation of Distance:

Beyond where the plow had stopped, a four-wheel drive had cut neat tracks into the deep snow on the road, just wide enough for the sled. The child climbed on with wordless excitement and they set off alone into an untouched white world. Before them the road rose several feet, shortening the view, so there were no sweeping vistas. The world was intimate, a silent, a white birth world. The trees, empty of all clutter, took only the snow to their undefended arms.

The stranger turned back to the tree to watch the liquid roll off the tap into the bucket. Truly, she felt to her gradually increasing amazement, there was something wonderful about this whole experience. A secret had been discovered. While she had been shivering and cursing at the mud, the earth was silently waking up. Looking at the dripping sap, she suddenly felt the entire woods as something living. For her whole life she could have walked through it or around it and never have... felt part of it. Now here she was, inside looking out, for the first time.






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