In fifteen beautifully wrought stories--ranging from occupied Czechoslovakia to California's Central Valley to the rainforests of the Pacific Northwest--Mark Slouka explores moments in life when our back is to the wall. One of the most forceful American writers of his generation, Slouka captures the depth and emotional range of an array of characters--from a young boy attempting to shield his father from painful memories in "The Hare's Mask" to a lonely man whose beloved dog inexplicably begins to sprout razor blades from her skin in "Dog."
Whether battling the end of desire, the fact of injustice, or death itself, the men and women in these stories are doing everything possible to tighten their grip on life. In "Crossing," a father hoping to compensate for his failures finds himself facing his past while fording a river with his young son on his back; in "Conception," a young couple frozen by the possible end of their marriage is offered an unexpected way back; in "Half-Life," a proud, aging shut-in finds her resolve tested by an extraordinary visitor determined to shatter her solitude.
Like its title, All That Is Left Is All That Matters consoles us with life's tender humor and unexpected moments of redemption in the face of heartbreak, tragedy, and dislocation.