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Refresh, Refresh

Benjamin Percy
We didn’t fully understand the reason our fathers were fighting. We only understood that they had to fight. The necessity of it made the reason irrelevant. ‘It’s all part of the game,’ my grandfather said. ‘It’s just the way it is.” We could only cross our fingers and wish on stars and hit refresh, refresh, hoping they would return to us.

The war in Iraq empties the small town of Tumalo, Oregon of me—of fathers—leaving their sons to fight amongst themselves. The boys, alone at home and desperate for contact, click refresh to see if an email might have just come through.

In striking, muscular prose, these stories deal with the pressures of manhood. A young man lays a trap and confronts a huge bear that has already mutilated two teenage girls; a man returns to the Pacific Northwest after a nuclear meltdown in 2010; a couple explores a deep and dangerous underground cave.

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"Benjamin Percy is a force" (Anthony Doerr) and Refresh, Refresh is a bold, fiery and unforgettable collection that deals with vital issues of our time.

About the Author

Benjamin  Percy
Credit: Arnab Chakladar
Benjamin Percy is the author of three books of short stories, including Suicide Woods, four novels, and the essay collection Thrill Me. His honors include a fellowship from the NEA, the Whiting Writers’ Award, two Pushcart Prizes, and the Plimpton Prize. He lives in Minnesota.
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  • “Percy displays a steely mastery as he explores and defines the unexpected dangers and fresh fears of this new century.”—Los Angeles Times
  • “Percy[’s] best stories reveal gifts close to the level of early Richard Ford and Tobias Wolff.”—The Chicago Tribune
  • “Astonishing intensity.”—The Boston Globe
  • “There’s no wading into a Benjamin Percy story. Reading the first sentence is like falling off a cliff—you keep going until you hit the inevitable yet surprising end.”—Poets & Writers


This book is made possible, in part, through the Jerome Foundation, which supports new works by emerging artists in New York City and Minnesota, and by the generosity of Graywolf Press donors like you.
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