The Uncollected Stories of Allan Gurganus by Allan Gurganus

I immediately became a fan of Allan Gurganus through this short story collection. A young, smart-aleck, entitled college kid is sent out to find outsider art, only to be sucked into a story told by an old woman in a small town, both of which he’d held in contempt, yet the story she tells changes the trajectory of his life. While the water rises to envelop his house, a retired gentleman takes his boat around his neighborhood picking up his neighbors, and ends up across town to rescue strangers. A tour guide continues her jubilant effervescent narrative even as she awaits the ambulance for her injury. Gurganus shows how seemingly tenuous connections can capture one’s soul and encompass the mind. The characters are superfluous to their circumstances, held aloft within their tales. I recommend this collection to anyone who is fascinated by people in general, or old white male writers who seem to get it. I was fortunate to receive a digital copy from the publisher Liveright through NetGalley.