About Wanderers: Stories
Paperback: 218 pages
Publisher: Stephen F. Austin University Press (June 5, 2012)
The wanderers of Edward Belfar’s debut collection of short fiction appear in a variety of settings—a piano bar in Rome, a hospital bed, a train traveling between Nairobi and Mombasa, the bleachers at Yankee Stadium—but nowhere are they quite at home. Often, they struggle to navigate geographical and emotional terrain that they find unrecognizable as they search for hope, redemption, and love.
The collection includes several stories set in Kenya. In “Mistaken Identity,” a blunder by an American groom-to-be at a traditional Kikuyu engagement ceremony lands him in hot water with his fiancée. “Something Small” depicts the inner struggles of a man trying to remain honest amid a culture of corruption. In “Departure,” an expatriate returning to Nairobi for a visit discovers her brother’s plans to raze the family home. Despairing of changing his mind, she sets off on what she expects will be a nostalgic voyage to the coast via the overnight train. Sadly typical of the Kenya to which she has come back, however, the elegant conveyances of her youth now exist only in her memory, and the journey becomes a grim test of her endurance.
Two linked stories trace the arc of a doomed marriage. In the first, a young groom spending a quarrel-filled honeymoon in Rome with his pregnant wife leaves their hotel room one night to wander the city alone. He blunders into a piano bar and finds he has made a costly mistake. In “Visitations,” set some years later, the same man, now paralyzed after getting drunk and flipping his car during another ill-fated flight from unhappy domesticity, endures a plague of unwanted visitors to his hospital room. One visitor, though, offers him hope of redemption. The reverberations of a single life-altering moment are also felt in the story “Errors.” Still haunted by a misplay committed decades before that cost his team a championship, a former Major League baseball player reluctantly allows a reporter to persuade him to return to Yankee Stadium, the scene of his disgrace. The title story, the final one in the book, revolves around a chance encounter between two nocturnal wanderers: a man whose life, in the wake of his estrangement from his adolescent daughters, appears on the verge of unraveling and his one-time law school professor, a formerly imposing figure whom age has left frail and disoriented.
Edward Belfar is a Long Island native who now lives with his wife in Maryland and works as a writer and editor. His fiction has appeared in Shenandoah, Tampa Review, Confrontation, Natural Bridge, and numerous other publications. His short story “Errors” was chosen as the winning entry in the Sport Literature Association’s 2008 fiction competition. Wanderers is his first book.
Edward Belfar’s TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS:
Monday, January 7th: Patricia’s Wisdom
Wednesday, January 9th: Booklover Book Reviews
Thursday, January 10th: Peeking Between the Pages
Monday, January 14th: Unabridged Chick
Wednesday, January 16th: Conceptual Reception
Thursday, January 17th: Entomology of a Bookworm
Monday, January 21st: Caribousmom
Tuesday, January 22nd: Bibliophiliac
Wednesday, January 23rd: Books Speak Volumes
Thursday, January 24th: Luxury Reading
Monday, January 28th: Bookish Habits
Wednesday, January 30th: My Bookshelf