Late in the Standoff
In this, his third collection, Tracy Daugherty focuses on social and cultural forces shaping people's intimate behavior. Set in Texas and Oklahoma, the stories and novella suggest that even politics is a kind of family squabble whose elusive solutions often come from unexpected quarters. In "Power Lines," a young man's sexual awakening in Midland, Texas, coincides with lessons about heroism and loyalty one hot summer that is suddenly seared with violence. In "The Standoff," a retired politician and his asthmatic grandson rediscover their bond on a trip to a small Oklahoma town where the old man has been asked to settle an "Indian dispute." In "Cotton Flat Road," a brother and sister lift the lid on their differences as he discovers her secret life across the tracks in the Texas oil town they grew up in.