The Ant Generator
by Elizabeth Harris
University of Iowa Press, 1991
Cloth: 978-0-87745-342-0 | eISBN: 978-1-58729-102-9
Library of Congress Classification PS3558.A64444A5 1991
Dewey Decimal Classification 813.54


Punctuated with weirdly comic moments, the stories in The Ant Generator reflect Harris's view of the world as a slightly strange place with shifting, dubious boundaries. Men and women encounter the commonplace improbabilities of modern life: a woman who works in an archaeological museum dreams of order but experiences random violence, a bored schoolteacher gets into the Book of World Records by standing on one foot.

In the various interactions of mind and matter in Harris's affecting stories, people try to force their experience into simple shapes, against natural and social opposition, with comic or tragic results. Sometimes their determination to command their own meaning is redemptive and creative; at other times they confront the luminous mystery and unforgiving character of the natural world or the anger of the dispossessed. Harris sensitively creates individuals who respond to the ordinary in extraordinary ways, characters who think in dreams and visions and who, like the author, employ rare gifts.

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