Dominic Smith, "Whitmore, 1969"

Driving with his big brother just back from Vietnam, trying to make sense of things.

(from The Atlantic Fiction Issue 2006)

This was the summer of 1969. Men were getting ready to land on the moon. The girls I knew wore slacks and smelled of sandalwood and cherry vodka. You could fit the whole world inside an album cover.

It’s a familiar scene, seemingly. Driving lonely highways during the other summer of love. Looking for love. Smoking weed. Listening to Dylan. Dealing with Vietnam in the family. Watching the moon landing on TV. This story chose some of the easiest, most familiar centerpieces around which to set its action and still made it new and powerful. Surpisingly so. Not Wonder Years at all, except for the nostalgia trippin’. The mood, the characters — it really sucked me in. I started reading thinking I’d finish it tomorrow. Now it’s got me awake and writing about it. You should read it. It’s excellent. It even sports one of those classic future tense epilogues I’ve grown so fond of.
Here‘s the first couple paragraphs. You’ll have to buy it to read the rest.
Here’s a link to Dominic Smith‘s site.

I promise to try to read a new story every day, in order from this the second annual Atlantic Fiction Issue, if you promise to check back in. What? You won’t promise. Fine, neither will I.

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