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Advance Praise for The Sense of Touch:
"[I]t is clear that Parsons knows the land he mines beyond the superficial sights, sounds, and smells, down to the feeling, the touch. And in this collection, he explores those who live and love in the cold and beautiful Midwest, all the way to their bones."
—ForeWord Reviews, Spring 2013
Ron Parsons in the sensitive sensual stories of The Sense of Touch explores the infinite spaces between the cold cold stars as well as the subatomic bosons and protons of timid touches, the uncertain certainty in Zeno’s paradox of never connecting connections. These tales are the winsome hissing of busy signals lisping in the icy nicely nice neighborhoods of the missing Midwest at the intersection of polite delight and absolute zero at the bone.
—Michael Martone, author of Four for a Quarter and Michael Martone
Chiseled out of the frozen environment of the northern Midwest, Parsons’ narratives reveal the cultural richness of Michigan, Minnesota, and South Dakota. His characters struggle to find their place in a region that is rapidly changing, and yet their loneliness is nevertheless reflected in the vast landscapes that threaten to devour them. Parsons alleviates the heaviness of this psychic geography with humor and inventive plot twists, resulting in a unique style that promises to keep the reader engaged until the final page has been turned.
—D. Seth Horton, Series Co-Editor, Best of the West: New Stories from the Wide Side of the Missouri
Ron Parsons' stellar debut collection is full of stories as changeable and unpredictable as a Midwestern springtime, as fresh and clear as a hidden waterfall, as sudden and perplexing as an unsolved murder. At once playful and deadly serious, hilarious and sad, these are the kinds of stories that will involve your own memory even as they show you a world you’ve likely never seen.
—Peter Geye, author of The Lighthouse Road
In The Sense of Touch, Ron Parsons writes, “we can all use the feeling of a long deadening freeze. It makes you appreciate the mercy of a thaw.” The characters in these haunting stories experience the freeze and thaw of emotions. There is a silence and quiet in these people from the heartland searching for something more, something deeper, something they don’t even know – whether at the bottom of a freshly dug hole in a South Dakota wheat field, deep inside a small Minneapolis house buried by the snows of a blizzard, or nestled in the basket of a hot air balloon floating over the Crazy Horse Monument. Traveling along with these engaging stories, one feels a longing for human touch and talk. We are seeing this writer at the beginning of his career. We’re going to be seeing a lot more from him. Lucky for us.
—Tricia Currans-Sheehan, editor of The Briar Cliff Review