Short stories by Thom Jones.
Jones was raised in Aurora, Illinois, where he went to public schools. He went to college at the University of Hawaii, where he played catcher on the baseball team. He later attended the University of Washington, from which he graduated in 1970. He studied at the Iowa Writers' Workshop at the University of Iowa, from which he received an M.F.A. in 1973. Jones trained in Force Reconnaissance in the Marine Corps but was discharged before his unit was sent to Vietnam. He used this and other personal experiences, including the suicide of his father, a boxer, after being confined to a mental institution, as sources for his fiction. After graduation from college, he worked as a copywriter for a Chicago advertising agency and later as a janitor, while reading and writing for hours each day. He was "discovered" well into his forties by the fiction editors of The New Yorker, who published "The Pugilist at Rest" (1991), which won an O. Henry Award. It was included in Best American Short Stories of 1992. Other stories of his were published in The New Yorker, as well as in Harper's,Esquire,Mirabella,Story, and Buzz. In 1993 he published his first collection of stories, for which this was the title story. Jones resided in Olympia, Washington, where he died on October 14, 2016 at the age of 71. He had temporal lobe epilepsy and diabetes. He was eulogized in The New Yorker magazine, by Joyce Carol Oates.
Listing 4 stories.
A bipolar doctor returns to the West Coast after an extended period of practicing medicine in Africa. An unexpected hospital stay makes him remember an old promise he made to his sister.
Faced with cancer, Mrs. Wilson confronts her impending death. She finds new strength fight her prognosis with a book, The Will to Live, by the philosopher Schopenhauer.
A teenage Marine recruit befriends another recruit who dreams of becoming a a New York City artist. Together, they fight in the Vietnam War: he develops epilepsy, and his friend dies.
With joints, brawls, and a drunken baboon, head doctor Koestler welcomes two new doctors to an intense African mission.