MIGRATION PATTERNS

Stories

Gary Schanbacher

 This beautifully drawn collection of short stories features characters living in or touched by the American West. Young and old, with heartbreaking pasts and uncertain futures, these characters lead lives filled with tender compassions and incidental cruelties. The stories deal with migration in all of its nuances: the self-imposed exile of a young crab fisherman from the life he desires; an aging flower child who experiences enlightenment while waiting in the express checkout line; a veterinarian watching birds fall mysteriously from the sky; an old man who sees his life come full circle in his garden harvest. Spare, yet emotionally engaging,

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 This beautifully drawn collection of short stories features characters living in or touched by the American West. Young and old, with heartbreaking pasts and uncertain futures, these characters lead lives filled with tender compassions and incidental cruelties. The stories deal with migration in all of its nuances: the self-imposed exile of a young crab fisherman from the life he desires; an aging flower child who experiences enlightenment while waiting in the express checkout line; a veterinarian watching birds fall mysteriously from the sky; an old man who sees his life come full circle in his garden harvest. Spare, yet emotionally engaging, Migration Patterns is an exploration of the physical and spiritual aspects of moving on in life.

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  • Fulcrum Publishing
  • Paperback
  • October 2007
  • 280 Pages
  • 9781555916466

Buy the Book

$14.95

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About Gary Schanbacher

 Gary Schanbacher was raised amidst the rich storytelling tradition of southeastern Virginia. Educated at Randolph-Macon College and Old Dominion University, Schanbacher moved to Colorado to continue his graduate studies at the University of Colorado where he earned a PhD in economics and nurtured an emerging love of fly-fishing. During his career in industry and academics, Gary continued to pursue his literary interests. His stories have appeared in numerous journals, such as Colorado Review, South Dakota Review, and The William and Mary Review. He and his wife live in Littleton, Colorado. Migration Patterns is his first collection of short fiction.

Praise

“…lyrical. With the accuracy of a laser, it lays bare the deepest emotions of the human heart.”
—The Rocky Mountain News

“Setting is paramount to the spare yet lyrical tone of the collection, which takes in the gamut of human experience from teen to old age. Introspective and soul-searching, but not self-indulgent, the selections feel timeless…” —School Library Journal

Discussion Questions

Consider the title of this book. Why do you think the author chose it?

Which story resonated the most with you, and why?

What do you think about the characters? Do you like them, or sympathize with them? How do they develop?

What is the common thread of these stories? Is there a reason for the order in which they appear?

How is the theme of man and nature played out in this book? Is nature a sanctuary or an obstacle?

The character of Nash reappears several times; what is his role in the narrative?

What role does the American West play in this book? Could the stories have been set somewhere else?

The stories evoke a range of emotions. What are they? Which one are you left with when you turn the last page?