by Glenway Wescott,
with an Introduction by Jerry Roscoe
Borderland Books. 202 pages, $28.
“THE MIDDLE WEST is nowhere; an abstract no-where. However earnestly writers proud of being natives of it may endeavor to give it form and character, it remains out of focus, amorphous, and a mystery,” wrote Glenway Wescott in the introductory essay to his collection of stories Goodbye, Wisconsin, originally published in 1928 and recently reissued in a beautiful edition by Borderland Books. Through this “nowhere”—with its echoing paradox of “now here”—wandered Wescott’s characters in his short stories. These stories are both haunting and tragic. Wescott’s finely crafted prose is sparse and precise, offering a poignant portrayal of the frail and insular lives of country folk in the 1920’s and 30’s.