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These stories are old and young at once: old in that they were written almost twenty years ago, but also young, as they were written by the author as a young man. They are an examination of a childhood come to a close and an imagining of what adulthood might look like in a new century.
Bunny Man’s Bridge wanders from the tragic to the comic, where the magical thinking of children collides with the gritty reality of adults. Characters such as Daniel and Sidney reoccur from one story to the next, coping with their own wounds, dreams, and disillusionment. They are accompanied by a series of characters familiar in American literature: the working man; the aspiring woman; the frontier hero; the entrepreneur; the immigrant; the artist; con men; strippers; saints and sinners. St. Paul, Satan, and God himself all make appearances.
Neill explores the dark intersection of youthful exuberance and responsible adulthood—a place where love and adventure, the sacred and profane all seem destined to collide. Transcendence or insanity could lurk behind the next bend and the atmosphere shivers with the potential and anxiety of a country shaking off its past to move into another millennium. The stories remind us just what a heady ride young adulthood is and what, collectively, might lie before us.
Poised at such a threshold, individuals and a country hold their breath.