On Our Shelves Now
Lyric fictions by a master fabulist of America’s Midwest
The Moon over Wapakoneta is vintage Michael Martone, the visionary oracle of the American Midwest with the gift for discovering the marvelous in the mundane. In these stories Martone shows us how traveling across time zones from Ohio to Indiana is a form of time travel; how a beer bottle can serve as a kind of telescope, how Amish might power their spaceships with windmills as they travel through space and time. These stories capture the paradox of feeling that one is in the heart of the country while at the same time in the middle of nowhere, of natives who find themselves strangers in their once familiar, but now strange, lands.
On display is a love of obsolete technologies, small-town whimsy, home movies of proms and birthday parties, steam engines and baseball games. If Italo Calvino lived in Indiana rather than Italy, these are the fictions he might have made.
About the Author
Michael Martone is a professor of creative writing in the Department of English at the University of Alabama. He is the author of many books, among them The Blue Guide to Indiana, Four for a Quarter, and Michael Martone. He lives in Tuscaloosa with the poet Theresa Pappas.
"In this volume of sly sci-fi stories, the strange is not found in the vistas of the future, but rather in the most familiar American technologies of the past—silos, watches, railroad trains—all of which are transformed by Martone's astonishing eye into a landscape at once familiar and transcendent."
—M. T. Anderson, author of Feed, The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Traitor to the Nation Volume I: The Pox Party, and The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Traitor to the Nation Volume II: The Kingdom on the Waves
“A playfully poetic exploration of place, proximity, relativity, and time. Refreshingly original and poignantly sentimental. A feast for the mind. Some of my favorite bits were ‘Four Yearbook Signatures’ and ‘Girl Who Cried Sweetly.’”
—Chinelo Okparanta, author of Under the Udala Trees and Happiness, Like Water: Stories
“In Moon over Wapakoneta, Michael Martone has turned his literary gaze to the moon and the stars and we're all the luckier for it. Within these pages are Amish astronauts, atomic clocks, moon museums, and holographic movie stars. Once again, the Mark Twain of metafiction offers us a collection of fictions and beautiful universes—including our own.”
—Alexander Weinstein, author of Children of the New World: Stories
“Oh, this world is wondrous and strange. Michael Martone, the Indiana trickster, makes amusements of a serious, silliest, surrealist sort. In this, his book of games, Martone electrifies distances across outer space; lost lusts; the lore of locomotives; the love, love, love of literature and all its lands. A journey far beyond.”
— Samantha Hunt, author of The Dark Dark: Stories and Mr. Splitfoot