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 Short Story Collection Review   



Sorry I Worried You
By Gary Fincke
University of Georgia Press, 2004
Hardcover, $24.95 (215 pages)
ISBN: 0-8203-2656-9

The male characters in Sorry I Worried You, Gary Fincke's most recent collection of short stories and winner of the Flannery O'Connor Award for Short Fiction, are trying to live the lives they've been promised. Most are keenly aware of the aging process and wonder how their lives have become so ambiguous. They grew up in "simpler" times and have seen the places they love change into towns with strip malls and chain fast-food joints. The high-paying jobs they'd hoped for have disappeared along with their physical health.  

In the title story, Ben, a fifty year-old bookstore clerk, thinks about the ways he can impress a younger as he endures the embarrassment of a prostate exam. Sensing his last chance as he waits to see if he has prostate cancer, he takes a long look at his life, seeing the ways in which his life plan has failed him.  

In "Gatsy, Tender, Paradise," two fathers confront their daughters' burgeoning sexuality, wondering if their attitudes toward morality are outdated, and if their fears are unfounded. 

Fincke's characters understand the value of endurance, that the most important victories are the small victories over the worst impulses within the self.  

Gary Fincke, professor of English and the director of the Writer's Institute at Susquehanna University in Pennsylvania, has written several collections of both poems and short stories. THE STONE CHILD: Stories and Writing Letters for the Blind, won the 2003 Ohio State University Press/The Journal Poetry Prize. A nonfiction account of his son's life in two rock bands, Amp'd, was published by the Michigan State University Press. Fincke is the recipient of two Pushcart Prizes, the George Garrett Fiction Prize, and the Pen Syndicated Fiction Prize.


Pam Kingsbury
Southern Scribe Reviews

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