Encompassing a vast gamut of personalities, situations, and emotions, these stories penetrate our motives for doing what is right. Often there is no right or wrong, and the characters' motives for the choices they make are as diverse as the childhood memories they cherish and abhor. In the end, this book probes individual impulse and responsibility, creating stories so unerringly authentic that they become—irrepressibly—part of everyone who reads them.
"The Darkness of Love" narrates three days in the life of a black policeman, distressed by his inner fears of racism and irresistibly attracted by his wife's sister. In "Dancing in the Movies" a college student returns to his hometown, where he finds his girlfriend—a heroin addict—and tries to convince her to overcome her habit. There are stories of men at war, of lovers trying to begin a relationship, of others trying to sustain their love. Each story revolves around characters with a choice to make, and Robert Boswell renders these characters in all of their fine, vulnerable, and relentless attributes.
With this prize-winning collection, Boswell proves himself a mature craftsperson, weaving stories both poignant and profound. Each story is a vision of life, alternately dark and joyous, gritty and hopeful.
"Dancing in the Movies is a powerful book, taut and stark, intense with human passion. Bluntly, bravely, Robert Boswell explores that gray borderland where betrayal mixes with trust, violence with love, despair with hope. The final effect is overwhelming."—Tim O'Brien
"Reading Boswell is like watching that kind of seemingly effortless dance; these six stories add up to a stunning performance."—Village Voice
"[Boswell offers] six dexterously shaped stories…[His] believable characters are involved in situations that are sometimes painfully true-to-life…[Dancing in the Movies is] a satisfying, if at times disturbing, collection."—Publishers Weekly
"Boswell's stories …start from human lives in blood, bone, and flesh. We are not permitted to forget that these embodied creatures have memories—traumatic memories of delivering live babies from the wombs of their dead Vietnamese mothers; beautiful memories of constellations and love; puzzled memories with delayed meaning (the story 'Kentucky'). The stories say that memory lives as tenaciously as the flesh—perhaps more tenaciously, for Boswell's characters might lose limbs or prospects or illusions, but they never lose the memories that make them real."—Studies in Short Fiction