In these ten stories, Ford mines literary gold from the wind-scrubbed landscape of the American West - and from the guarded hopes and gnawing loneliness of the people who live there. A refugee from justice driving across Wyoming with his daughter; an unhappy girlfriend and a stolen Mercedes; a boy watching his family dissolve in a night of tragicomic violence; two men and a woman swapping hard-luck stories in a frontier bar as they try to sweeten their luck. Rock Springs is a masterpiece of taut narration, cleanly chiselled prose, and empathy so generous that it feels like a kind of grace.

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