Late Night, Early Morning
“This is a powerful, evocative book filled with the contradictions of loving things you will one day have to leave behind: a place, a person, a mood, a memory, a word. It is full of all things that we look for and return to in our literature: subtle fire, poignant humor, clear-eyed sadness, and layered love.”—Scott Blackwood
While Allen Wier is perhaps best known as a prizewinning novelist, he is also a master of the short story, an art he has perfected over four decades. Late Night, Early Morning contains twenty-two of Wier’s tales: the stories in his first collection (Things About to Disappear), six uncollected stories, and seven stories that became part of his four novels. Richly textured and often lyrical, with intense images and diverse subjects, these stories feature indelible characters who imprint themselves onto readers’ minds. A man with no family finds the abandoned corpse of an infant and adopts the dead baby as his son. A Texas laborer, while repairing hen houses, learns that the stench of the egg ranch is the smell of money. In 1862 Louisiana, a runaway slave comes face to face with a white sharecropper’s wife who may turn him in, but something unexpected momentarily unites them. An American widow in Mexico as a photographer meets a florist from Texas who widens her angle of view. After discovering an underground cavern, a man lives his entire life in an imagined world shaped from stalactites and stalagmites.
Allen Wier’s skillfully written and compassionate stories reveal the shimmering moments in day-to-day life.
Allen Wier has received an NEA grant, Guggenheim and Dobie-Paisano Fellowships, the Fellowship of Southern Writers’ Robert Penn Warren Award, and the John Dos Passos Prize for Literature. He’s taught at Carnegie-Mellon, Hollins, the University of Alabama, University of New Orleans’s Edinburg Workshop, Florida International, the University of Texas, and the University of Tennessee. Currently the visiting writer at Murray State University, Allen Wier lives with his artist wife, Donnie, overlooking Lake Guntersville in Alabama.