Published by: University of Oklahoma Press
Imprint: University of Oklahoma Press
200 Pages | 6 x 9
Lynette and her two cousins, Jessie and Buster, narrate the linked short stories that make up Boneland. Their fathers, brothers, grew up on the ranch in Montana, a place rich in dinosaur fossils that gives the book its title. Continuing an enormous task begun two generations back, one of the uncles is still reconstructing a fossil in the old hay shed. The cousins, meanwhile, carry on the family tradition of reconstructing the mysteries of the past. All three have trouble defining and maintaining their identities. And only they understand the idiosyncrasies of their family—which Nance Van Winckel treats as a character in this ingeniously linked collection of stories. The family is a creature reconstructed from the slippery events of everyone’s past.
Fate is sudden and powerful in the life of this clan. A baby is dropped, a family drowned, a tsunami in Thailand changes the course of an already troubled life. Van Winckel releases time from strict adherence to chronology to reveal surprising correspondences. With shifting points of view and distinctive voices, these linked stories, in the hands of a master of the genre, capture the mutability of human experience and the meandering plot lines that make up our lives.