Author of Talk to Me, James Dean and Cold Deck, H. Lee Barnes is an eloquent ambassador for the contemporary American West. In these twelve moving stories, Barnes delves deep into the wild, expansive places of the region and of the human heart that are slowly coming to rein. With gorgeously distilled prose, Barnes writes of vastness and distance, of the separate, small inches and whole histories that occupy equal measures of the western spirit.
Each of the stories in Life Is a Country Western Song reveals a character longing to close a gap, or who, for better and for worse, have come to terms with their estrangement and exile. A divorcee rekindles a doomed romance over the internet; a locksmith absorbs broken dreams in foreclosed homes; a boy learns how to love and hate in Juarez, Mexico; because he has no one else, a Nevada Patrolman confides his marital troubles in a dog.
Wrought with empathy, precision and a steady finger on the pulse of the complexities facing today’s changing, often turbulent West, Barnes’s stories show a writer at the apex of his craft, offering an updated take on a West that is rapidly descending into the annals of legend.