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Alone With the Owl (978-0898232035)

Alone with the Owl is the second prize-winning collection of short fiction from the co-editor of Visiting Bob: Poems Inspired by the Life and Work of Bob Dylan (2018) and the founding co-editor of American Fiction: The Best Unpublished Short Stories by Emerging Writers.

ALONE WITH THE OWL is a diverse and magical collection of stories with a rare and lyrical sensibility. Ranging from the domestic and tame to the comic and fantastic, Davis takes the reader into a world of precise fantasy, dazzling metaphor and linguistic pyrotechnics. Praised by Tim O'Brien, Dorothy Allison, and Walker Percy for his first book, RUMORS FROM THE LOST WORLD (New Rivers Press, 1993), Davis demonstrates an imagination whose characters and scenarios, in the words of Tim O'Brien, "linger in the memory like a hometown--a place I once lived in and once loved".


"I kept thinking that I wouldn't mind ending up as a character in one of his stories. Odds are, he'd do me justice." -Dorothy Allison, New York Times Book Review

"Moving easily between blue-collar types and Social Register summer people, New Age dancers and Old World immigrants, underground poets and Elvis freaks, Davis demonstrates an impressive range in this collection."

        -Kirkus Reviews


"Although these stories occur in many different parts of the country, they are aesthetically shaped by the landscape of Louisiana, the muddy delta, and the oily bayou - the bottomland to which all things flow." 

       -Debra Marquart, The Horizontal World, The Night We Landed on the Moon

These 14 stories, one performed as a rock opera, another part of The Wrecking Ball (a regional multimedia event), and a third made into a short film, were first published in literary periodicals: The Quarterly, Image, ACM, Ascent, The Chattahoochee Quarterly, The Cream City Review, The Great River Review, North Dakota Quarterly, San Jose Studies, and South Dakota Quarterly. 

"Now he lets go of that, of nothing, and for the first time, without a passport, he enters a country that is strange, a country he no longer knows, and finally finds his voice and reaches out to take the hand that is offered, a hand that feels very familiar in a darkness with no beginning and no end, and he begins to speak, no longer thinking of himself as a traveler but as someone who will arrive momentarily."

-Traveling by Moonlight

Table of Contents:
Traveling by Moonlight

The Solid Earth

The Giving

Suddenly I Meet Your Face

Catch and Release

Movement of Natural Light

Black Ash Pinwheel

Spending the Day with Donald Trump

Women of the Brown Robes

The Battle of New Orleans

Beauty of Tropical Places

The Vanishing

Alone with the Owl

Rough God Goes Riding.

"I moved to St. Cloud to get an education and stayed, working as a housepainter, until duty called. My great-grandfather had served in the Great War, my grandfather had served in the Good War, and my father had gone to another one. It was my turn. They sent me straight to a theater of operation, a place where my ancestors once lived. It had a name nobody in my company, even the lieutenant, knew how to pronounce."

              -Rough God Goes Riding

"He has an original talent, a feel for action, a sparse yet vivid style, a sharp satirical sense, a keen eye and ear for the follies of the age."  -Walker Percy