Measuring Time & Other Stories, by Nathaniel Lee Hansen
The twelve pieces in this short-story cycle chronicle dysfunctional relationships, differing worldviews, self-deceptions, and misperceptions, exploring a geographical region often referred to as “flyover country.” Hansen’s fiction highlights and develops the people who live, work, and struggle in an area foreclosed to the knowledge and imaginations of those outside the region. Against the stereotype that both the terrain and the culture are boring, flat, and empty, Hansen’s stories demonstrate that clarifying drama and purgative conflict are as present here as much as anywhere else.
With careful, clear-eyed storytelling, Hansen hems the wild terrain of love, loss, hard-earned wisdom, and quiet courage. Demonstrating with each story masterful precision of not only prose, but also of human psychology, Hansen pinpoints the un-sutured wounds within his characters. Each story is a revelation of unexpected and uncommon compassion.
—Gina Ochsner, author of The Necessary Grace to Fall, which received the Flannery O'Connor Award for Short Fiction
There's a kind of deeper thoughtfulness to these stories than I've seen in a long, long while. Nathaniel Hansen's work stays close as close can be to the heart of his characters without veering into sentimentality or overwrought emotion. These are real people, in real places, dealing with the real issues of humanity: forgiveness, presumption, sin, and the freedom offered through grace. His prose is solid, his rendering of place sure; his vision one of redemption, and no matter how hard the battle, love can heal our hearts from our own self-inflicted wounds.
—Bret Lott, author of Oprah's Book Club pick, Jewel, and New York Times best-selling author