Hints of His Mortality

Powered by Google
Get permissions
252 pages

“You haven't read another book this fresh, this brave, this important, not in a long time you haven't. Hints of His Mortality is a richly textured, funny, compassionate exploration of the wasteland that is the American way of life. These are stories that matter.”—John Dufresne, author of Louisiana Power and Light

“I have half a mind to ask my HMO to bill David Borofka for damages. While reading his stories, I hurt myself laughing, and I hurt myself crying. Mostly, though, I ached from envy: I kept wishing I had written this book.”—Steve Yarbrough, author of Mississippi History

“Tersely written and marked by an exuberant and fluid prose style, both lyric and colloquial, Hints of His Mortality is a serious-minded, highly refined collection of stories by a writer of splendid talent. A sprawling, generous anthology of stories about modern life, this book has much to admire and much to offer to the discerning lover of good modern literature.”—Oscar Hijuelos, author of The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love

The award-winning stories in David Borofka's Hints of His Mortality focus on the male of the species, on bewildered, guilt-ridden, hypersensitive characters adrift in a sea of changing roles and expectations. Although they yearn for the ideal—whether physical or spiritual—and for that sense of divine connection suggested by Wordsworth's Intimations of Immortality, they usually end up settling for what seems the next best thing: sex or religion.

The amorous scrimmage between male and female in these taut, intense stories is a contest that leaves no one unmarked. The hapless ministers in Borofka's memorable collection find that their daily grind of professional piety leaves them with more questions than answers. The men and boys in Hints of His Mortality are always aware of their flaws, for Borofka's vital characters have the capacity to register the shadows of their every blemish. Like Ferguson of the title story, haunted for twenty years by his failures of conscience, each protagonist experiences the inexorable fallibility of his own nature, agonizes over his moral weakness, and longs for escape from this life in which “our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting." Yet each is redeemed by his ongoing struggle for compassion and understanding.

Table of contents: 

Prologue: In the Shadows at Gaylord’s

A Sleep and a Forgetting:
The Blue Cloak
Tabloid News
A Blessing
Reflected Music

Trailing Clouds of Glory:
The Children’s Crusade
The Summers of My Sex
The Girl on the Highway

Shades of the Prison-House:
The Whole Lump
The Sisters

Hints of His Mortality