In these linked stories, the constants are the places-from Eight Mile High, the local high school, to Eight Miles High, the local bar; from The Clock, a restaurant that never closes, to Stan's, a store that sells misfit clothes. Daniels's characters wander Detroit, a world of concrete, where even a small strip of greenery becomes a hideout for mystery and mayhem. Even when they leave town-to Scout camp, or Washington, DC, or the mythical Up North, they take with them their hardscrabble working-class sensibilities and their determination to do what they must do to get by. With a survival instinct that includes a healthy dose of humor, Daniels's characters navigate work and love, change and loss, the best they can. These characters don't have the luxury of feeling sorry for themselves, even when they stumble. They dust themselves off and head back into the ring with another rope-a-dope wisecrack. These stories seem to suggest that we are always coming of age, becoming, trying to figure out what it means to be an adult in this world, attempting to figure out a way to forgive ourselves for not measuring up to our own expectations of what it means to lead a successful, happy life.
Subjects: Language & Literature
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