Peering into the often unnoticed corners of life, Kevin Brockmeier has been consistently praised for the originality of his vision, the boundlessness of his imagination and the command of his craft. Once again, in this new collection of fiction, Brockmeier shows us a fantastical world that is intimately familiar but somehow distant and beautiful. From the touching title story, where a young, antisocial woman imagines her escape into the sky with an apparition only she can see, to the haunting story of a pastor tempted by something less than divine, Brockmeier moves effortlessly from the extraordinary to the everyday, while challenging us to see the world anew. Stunning, elegant, profound, and playful, The View from the Seventh Layer cements Kevin Brockmeier's place as one of the most creative and compassionate writers of his generation.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
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|Title of History eBook: The View from the Seventh Layer|
|Release Date: 03-04-2008|
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|Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group|
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The View from the Seventh Layer
A Fable Ending in the Sound of a Thousand Parakeets
Once there was a city where everyone had the gift of song. Gardeners sang as they clipped their flowers. Husbands and wives sang each other to sleep at night. Groups of children waiting for the school bell to ring raced through the verses of the latest pop songs to get to the pure spun sugar of the choruses. Old friends who had not seen one another in many years met at wakes and retirement parties to sing the melodies they remembered from the days when they believed there was nothing else in the world that would ever grip their spirits so and take them out of their bodies. Life was carried along on a thousand little currents of music, and it was not unusual to hear a tune drifting out from behind the closed door of an office as you passed, or even from the small back room of the art museum, which was almost but never quite empty. The people of the city did not always sing with great skill, but they sang clearly and with a simplicity of feeling that made their voices beautiful to hear. And because they loved what they sang, no matter how painful or melancholy, a note of indomitable happiness ran through their voices like a fine silver thread.
In this city there lived a mute, the only person who was unable to lend his voice to the great chorus of song that filled the air. The mute had spent his entire life in the city, and everyone from the members of the school board to the stock boys at the grocery store knew who he was. In some communities there is a man who sells whistles by the courthouse or paper kites down by the river. In others there is a woman who decorates her home with multicolored lights and streamers every ho