Dan O'Brien


Download Full Text (5.0 MB)


Winter cat -- Cowboy on the Concord Bridge -- Seals -- Eminent domain -- The inheritance -- Weightless -- The wild geese -- Strand of wire -- Final touches -- The Georgia breeze.


Eminent Domain bears the hallmark of a mature and talented author. While subtle metaphors and analogies resonate throughout the text, the surface of these stories is charged with vivid scenes of fishing, caring for game birds in winter, branding calves in Nebraska, and rescuing a wounded mountain climber.

With both humor and poignancy, Dan O'Brien explores the lives of his diverse characters. In 'The Inheritance,' a businessman goes fishing after the death of his father and realizes, through memories he tries to evade, the richness of the inheritance his father has left him. 'Eminent Domain' tells the story of Willy Herbeck, who's 'dirty, sloppy, unsociable, old-fashioned, moody, bullheaded, and ugly.' But he's also 'got class' and is willing to go to extremes to keep from selling his junkyard to the government.

At ease with a wide variety of characters and complex emotional circumstances, O'Brien enriches his stories with authentic voices and thought-provoking resolutions. These are stories you will return to again and again.—Front flap.

Series Title

Iowa Short Fiction Award

Award Date



Iowa Writers' Workshop

Publication Date



University of Iowa Press


Iowa City

Total Pages


ISBN of Print Version



Copyright © 1987 by Dan O'Brien. No part of this book may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying or recording, without permission in writing from the publisher.