Line of Fall


Miles Wilson


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Wyoming -- Everything -- Outrider -- Gospel hump -- Fire season -- Figuring the quiet -- Baja -- Long green -- On tour with Max -- Going away -- Waterworks, rim, and angel -- The Lord of misrule at Separation Creek -- Christmas at the Dixie Motel -- Toliver.


With a full range of narrative techniques, the fourteen stories in this volume explore the arcs people trace as they make their way in the world. Miles Wilson's compelling narrative presents characters at crucial moments in their trajectories, when the nature and outcome of their lives can be illuminated. Though built out of the texture of ordinary life, these stories concentrate their focus where the luminous intersects the commonplace.

Many of the stories are set in the American West, which often rises out of the background, virtually assuming the role of another character. In "Outsider," a fable of the artist and society is played out as a metaphysical western. "Wyoming" portrays a college professor, his career hanging by a thread, who meets an uncanny woman on a strange journey through a Wyoming blizzard. And in "Fire Season," a U.S. Forest Service firefighter undergoes an apocalyptic Santa Ana fire that takes him to the bewildering margins of the human and natural worlds.

Series Title

John Simmons Short Fiction Award

Award Date



Gail Godwin

Publication Date



University of Iowa Press


Iowa City

Total Pages


ISBN of Print Version



Copyright © 1989 by Miles Wilson. 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.