Binding

My Father Moves Through Time Like a Dirigible

Gregg Cusick

 

 

Synopsis: The cast of characters and settings in My Father Moves Through Time Like a Dirigible are quite diverseófrom an eleven-year-old at a wake to an octogenarian in a grade school principalís office, with much in between. But the stories are linked by the common strivings of the individuals, by their attempts to make connections and to acknowledge and deal with their (seemingly ever-present) pasts.

A small town suicide ripples through the lives of a series of acquaintances. An aging professor wavers before his class while reliving the sinking of his WWII troopship where hundreds perished. A middle-aged woman confronts her dying abuser of thirty years before. And in the title story, an old man recalls his boyhood view of his own father and the great rigid airship Shenandoah that passed over hours before its dramatic crash. In all the stories in this debut collection, ordinary, yet remarkable individuals face common human challenges in original, often surprising ways.

ISBN: 978-1-60489-138-6  Hard cover, $30               Sale $15.00

ISBN: 978-1-60489-139-3  Trade paper, $17.95       Sale $9.00

182 Pages

About the Author: 

Over the years, Gregg Cusick has supported his writing habit through work as a furniture mover, English teacher, paralegal, construction worker, retail manager, among others. His fiction has appeared in more than two dozen journals and has won numerous awards, including the Lorian Hemingway Short Story Competition and The Florida Review Editorís Prize, and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. He holds a Masterís in English/Creative Writing from North Carolina State University and lives in Durham, North Carolina, where he bartends and tutors literacy. He can be contacted at greggcusick.com.

Gregg Cusickís fiction has appeared in more than two dozen journals and has won numerous awards, including the Lorian Hemingway Short Story Competition and The Florida Review Editorís Prize, and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. He has a short story collection, My Father Moves Through Time Like a Dirigible, to be published in 2014 by Livingston Press. He holds a Masterís in English/Creative Writing from North Carolina State University and lives in Durham, North Carolina, where he bartends and tutors literacy. He can be contacted at greggcusick.com.

 

 Excerpt from the Book:

 

Lakehurst, NJ. September 2, 1925. 2:52 p.m. Despite objections of Commander Zachary Lansdowne, an Ohio native, fearing line squalls and late-summer storms, the navy orders the 682-foot blimp Shenandoah to set off for its tour of Midwest state fairs. As Lansdowne and his crew of forty in the rigid airship sail out over the pine woods of New Jersey, his wife watching from the ground turns her head away. So do wives and families of the other crewmen who have come to the field. It is considered bad luck to watch your husbandís ship fade out of sight.

 

          I always sit down gingerly in the principalís office, into a chair surely more often reserved for the rumps of 13-year-olds. We smile, the principal and I, perhaps appreciating the same irony at the same moment. See, Iím 83 years old, while the principal of the Sam Houston Middle School is about my sonís age, about 43. Weíve met before, and he knows what I want to discuss, again. My proposal for a school play. Itís historical, and really about how time and memory work, I tell him again. As if anyone knows that, heís thinking, I know.

          But I can see it all, I tell him. At least the scene, the set and props so clearly, the illustration of the smooth movement of time. I donít, at first at least, mention my responsibility for the crash of the dirigible Shenandoah in 1925, nor my responsibility for my father leaving just a few months later, although this is not because they have nothing to do with the story. Itís more that if you go before a producer, say, to pitch an idea for a movie, if you start off with ramblings about guilt and responsibility and not fiery crashes and drama, youíve pretty much shot yourself out of the air before you get a chance to fly, donít you think?

          ďSo itís to be the Commanderís, Lansdowneís, itís his story?Ē Principal Constantine asks. ďOr is it your view of it now? Or is it the boyís, the four-year-oldísóis it his story?Ē

          ďNo,Ē I say. ďHistory,Ē I say.

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