Binding

That He May Raise

Armond Boudreaux

 

 

Synopsis:

 Tartt First Fiction Award—Runner Up!  These linked stories explore the ways in which guilt radiates through time and space, and ask whether the resulting suffering can be redemptive. A husband forces his wife into an impossible choice; a son cannot forgive his father’s sins; a woman tries to atone for betraying her best friend by making her lover pay––these choices prove life-changing for those whose lives they touch.

ISBN: 978-1-60489-154-6  Hard cover $30

ISBN: 978-1-60489-155-3  Trade paper $17.95  

208 Pages

 
About the Author: 

 

Armond Boudreaux grew up in southwestern Alabama among hills and pine trees. He majored in English and earned his Ph.D. at the University of Southern Mississippi’s Center for Writers. He has published articles and reviews in various venues, and this is his first book of fiction. He lives with his wife, Leah, and their four children in Georgia, where he is an assistant professor of English.

 

 Excerpt from the Book:

I

 

The woods around Thomas had gone quiet except for the sound of the hog that grunted behind the tangle of vines in the hollow below. The birds that had been chirping their songs had all vanished at the arrival of the boar. Squirrels darted across branches noiselessly, some of them stopping occasionally to glance wide-eyed at the boy with his longbow sitting in a crook between two oak branches. Some others gazed curiously at the rustling bushes where the hog rooted.Thomass father, Ben, had gone up the mountain a few hours ago to watch for deer at a place where they liked to cross a creek that coursed down the slope. He had been leaving Thomas alone to hunt for most of that year––even now, in the early seventies when the Jackson County game warden had started to give rural poachers some trouble, Ben disregarded the hunting seasons––and had been weepy when Thomas killed his first deer alone. Thomas had dropped the four-point with a perfect shot through the shoulder and had dragged him half a mile to the dirt road where Ben had parked the truck. Now it looked like Thomas was going to kill his first hog.

      He placed his writing pad and pencil in a hollowed-out knot on the branch. He had only written one line since he climbed the tree to wait for deer to pass––The magician was afraid of the dragon, but he was more afraid of being a coward––and had struggled to produce another. Thomas wanted to write fairy stories, stories about worlds more alive with meaning than the one he lived in, but he didnt have sufficient imagination to populate the fantastic countries that he dreamed of. He thought of God speaking vast realms––heavens, earth, sea––into existence and then populating them and felt the task of simply writing these stories monumental, too large for him.

            By the sound of its grunting, the hog was just beyond the thicket, very close to the tree where Thomas waited to shoot, but the boy could not see it. It sounded massive. Now the worry was whether or not it would leave the thicket before it was time to head home. It might be dangerous to come out of the tree with the hog still there. Thomas had seen a friend of his fathers who had been gored in the knee by a wild boar. Three years later, the man still walked with a cane.

 

 

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