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From the Place in the Valley Deep in the Forest (Paperback) [2001]
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Mitch gives an overview of the book:

After four novels, including the intriguing novel-in-verse Branches (2000) and the bittersweet Cosmology of Bing, Cullin rounds up eight short stories. They demonstrate that he is more than a canny new regionalist. Only three share the West Texas setting of his novels, and they hardly overshadow the others, set in Japan, Vietnam, Cambodia, Ukraine, and Alaska, respectively. Three of those tackle big public themes--American reconciliation with Vietnam, the killing fields of the Pol Pot regime, and the aftermath of the Chernobyl disaster--and another deals with the lesser-known but news-generating matter of Alaskan Indian tribes punishing their own public offenders rather than letting them be imprisoned. Cullin completely avoids making essays of his stories by focusing on vividly realized characters caught in the middle of those circumstances: a boy, now 16, who lived...
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After four novels, including the intriguing novel-in-verse Branches (2000) and the bittersweet Cosmology of Bing, Cullin rounds up eight short stories. They demonstrate that he is more than a canny new regionalist. Only three share the West Texas setting of his novels, and they hardly overshadow the others, set in Japan, Vietnam, Cambodia, Ukraine, and Alaska, respectively. Three of those tackle big public themes--American reconciliation with Vietnam, the killing fields of the Pol Pot regime, and the aftermath of the Chernobyl disaster--and another deals with the lesser-known but news-generating matter of Alaskan Indian tribes punishing their own public offenders rather than letting them be imprisoned. Cullin completely avoids making essays of his stories by focusing on vividly realized characters caught in the middle of those circumstances: a boy, now 16, who lived near Chernobyl when small; another teen, arrested for a brutal assault and robbery in Anchorage; a Cambodian girl in an agricultural labor camp with her aunt and uncle; and married 'Nam vets bicycling through old combat zones with their 19-year-old son. If something of the experimentalist shows in Cullin's novels, his stories are old-fashioned in the best sense, reporting slices of life as the characters experience them in language that is economical yet richly evocative because of its precision. Ray Olson
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About Mitch

Born in New Mexico during the "crossfire hurricane" year of 1968 , Mitch Cullin is the author of eight books of fiction, including the novel-in-verse Branches, The Cosmology of Bing, UnderSurface, and the globe-spanning story collection...

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Published Reviews

Dec.20.2007

Cullin is an unusually sophisticated theorist of human nature, and this book is first and foremost an analysis of Holmes -- both as a fictional character and as an embodiment of the human drive to make...

Dec.20.2007

TIDELAND
By Mitch Cullin.
192 pp. Chester Springs, Pa.:
Dufour Editions. $22.

BRANCHES
By Mitch Cullin.
Illustrated by
Ryuzo Kikushima.
197 pp. Sag...