Random House, Inc.
1. In the first story, “With Jazz,” compare the narrator’s relationship with her children with her relationship with Jazz. What are the similarities and differences? 2. How does Peyton’s mom’s stroke affect Liz in “Tunica”? How does it affect Liz and Peyton’s interaction with each other? 3. Describe the similarities and differences between the second and fourth stories, “Tobrah” and “Thunder Snow.” What role does the child play in both stories? 4. How does the fictional character of “Scott” in the fifth story, “Rolling into Atlanta” inform us of aspects of Annie’s personality? 5. Consider the ending of the sixth story, “Three-Wheeler.” Why do you suppose the author ended it this way? 6. How do the author’s descriptions of environment, both in the outer landscape as a whole as well as in the funeral parlor, reflect the themes in the seventh story, “The Funeral Side”? How does this compare with the sense of place in the ninth story, “Proper Gypsies?” 7. In the eighth story, “Window Lights”, what do you think is the significance of the following line: “I also have the feeling that nothing is chosen, everything is inevitable–these fateful patterns of human behavior.” 8. How does the notion of drugs, both legal and illegal, figure into the last two stories of the book? 9. What themes run through all the stories? What recurring relationships are present? 10. How important is syntax in creating a sense of place in the story? Consider both dialogue and narrative.
In this remarkable book, the author of Shiloh and Other Stories , In Country , and other award-winning books gives us powerful new stories that capture the restless energy of life in contemporary America. The characters here are travelers and seekers, feeling their way toward, or away from the defining moments of their lives. They roam out into the world to England, Alaska, Texas, Saudi Arabia, or ricochet back home to Kentucky, ceaselessly searching, exploring, testing for limits. I felt strange, says Chrissy in With Jazz , as though all my life I had been zigzagging down a wild trail to this particular place. In Charger , a teenage boy races along the interstate, seeking the father who abandoned him years before. In Rolling into Atlanta , a young woman searches for the kind of authenticity she remembers from her rural childhood. In Proper Gypsies , Nancy deals with the shock of being robbed in London. In The Funeral Side , Sandra comes home to try to fulfill her responsibilities to her family, but yearns to escape again to Alaska and the northern lights that haunt her. Writing in the spare, precise, beautifully nuanced language for which she is famous, Bobbie Ann Mason expands her art here in dramatic and illuminating fashion. These fascinating stories bring to life surprising individuals whose journeys shine a bright light on life as it is lived by many Americans today. Zigzagging Down a Wild Trail is a beautiful book by one of America's finest writers, a book full of drama, humor, and startling insights into the timeless longings of the human heart.
Baker & Taylor
A collection of stories set in Kentucky explores the lives of characters who leave their homes to embark on an adventure in a world of change and transition but who remain tied to their roots.
The award-winning author of In Country and Shiloh and Other Stories returns to Kentucky to explore the lives of unforgettable characters who leave their homes to embark on an adventure in a world of change and transition by who remain tied to their Kentucky roots, in a collection of stories. 30,000 first printing.