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The stories in Rumors from the Lost World, are about seeking and discovery, fall and redemption, memory and loss. The characters are all shattered products of a broken past. A grandson is embarrassed by his grandfather to the point of hatred; yet after the old man has died, the boy, now a young man with a family of his own, finds solace in recounting his grandfather's life to those who never knew him. A husband, troubled by the state of his marriage, makes a desperate bid for emotional freedom when he drags his family on a quixotic journey westward to "find the sun." The daughter of Italian immigrants in New Orleans finds her only strength in genealogy and the binding ties of heritage. In Davis's simple, realistic stories there is magic in a world that still somehow seems devoid of magic. Time, which so shapes these characters, is not linear; what is gone is not lost. Though there is tragedy, ultimately there is hope and the power to continue the journey.
Alan Davis received a doctorate from the University of Denver and a master's degree from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, His third collection of stories, So Bravely Vegetative, won the Prize Americana for Fiction 2010. His other two prize-winning collections are Rumors from the Lost World and Alone with the Owl. He was born in New Orleans, the fabled Crescent City near the mouth of the Mississippi, into a large Catholic family of Italian, French, and Irish ancestry. Davis has received, among other honors, two Fulbright awards (to Indonesia and Slovenia), a Minnesota State Arts Board Fellowship, and a Loft-McKnight Award of Distinction in Creative Prose. His work appears in The New York Times Book Review, The Hudson Review, The Sun magazine, and many other print and online journals. He now lives in Minnesota, near the Mississippi's headwaters among Garrison Keillor's Lutherans and Louise Erdrich's full and mixed-blood Native Americans. Davis is a Professor in the English Department at Minnesota State University Moorhead (MSUM). He is also on the faculty of the low-residency M.F.A. program at Fairfield University in CT. He is currently at work on a fourth collection of stories, three novels, and a collection of poems. He can be found on Facebook, Twitter(@Big_Al_Himself), and Linkedin.
He also serves as Senior Editor at New Rivers Press. The press was founded in 1968 by C. W. "Bill" Truesdale and has published more than 340 titles. In 2001, after Truesdale's death, it was revived and relocated to MSUM, where its dual mission is to publish new and emerging writers and provide learning opportunities for students in partnership with MSUM. The press honors Truesdale's progressive spirit by publishing work with a strong sense of place that speaks to our troubled times with satyagraha (the truthforce), empathy, and aesthetic courage. For updates, join us on Facebook.