The Temple of Air by Patricia McNair

The Temple of Air is a book of unusual pleasures, each story offers the reader a small roller coaster of anticipation, fear, surprise, recognition, satisfaction. This is a beautiful book, intense and original.”

Linking the lives and tales of a place and its people through tragedy and consequence, blind faith and redemption, this collection of finely tuned short stories spans three decades to present a portrait of working class Americans. From babysitter and bus ticket salesman to construction worker and cult leader, the residents of New Hope--whose lives intersect after a tragic accident during a summer carnival--chase dreams and suffer disappointment against the subtle backdrop of a Midwestern landscape. The stories are unapologetic yet magical, bringing to life the daily struggle under the weight of war, natural disaster, illness, grief, and greed, even as the residents enjoy the comforts of solace, friendship, sex, love, ice cream, and the comics found wrapped around bubblegum.