ISBN 978-1-61019-103-6 print
ISBN 978-1-61019-017-6 ebook
A man is driving an old white Monaco down the Nine Avenues highway. He has come from his former house.
The Nine Avenues is a great trunk road to the mountains; although it is only two lanes. By the late afternoon in summer, the light flashes between the tree trunks and casts heavy shadows on the road. With the windows open; the air has a special quality, as if mixed with gasoline and the odour of grass, and suggests nothing more simple or powerful than freedom.
He is alone and his eyes are swollen, red and smeared, by tears. He has been listening to old songs on the radio, about departure and betrayal. He has some knowledge of broken trust. Alone in the car he sheds more tears in self-pity.
For too long he has been a walking ghost. When he looked in the mirror he did not recognize himself; he was without a body, hunched over as if weighed under by ten overcoats. Small and pushed down to the ground he was like a rodent.
Through the fourteen stories in this collection, Guy Cranswick explores “home” and what can happen when it proves elusive. In the title story, The Nine Avenues were “nine small roads that ran up the same route in unsealed tracks. The roads were joined and trees planted by the side of the road.” So too the disparate characters in Nine Avenues, who search for home via different routes, converge in the realization that the journey sometimes matters more than the destination.
©Copyright Guy Cranswick. All Rights Reserved. 2015