The Bottom of the Order: A Photograph of Gaylord Perry Being Investigated for Foreign Substances

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Gaylord Perry toiled for twenty-two seasons in the majors, and the look on his face suggests it was hard toil indeed. Wind worn, exasperated, he mutely submits to yet another examination of his cap, his head, his uniform, for a dab of Vaseline, a smear of K-Y. It might or might not have been there – Perry’s success rested on the twin pillars of a doctored ball’s unpredictability, and the thought, instilled in the head of each batter he faced, that the ball might be materially abetted in its tortuous journey from mound to plate.

“A Photograph of Gaylord Perry Being Investigated for Foreign Substances,” for Hobart

“quiet tension”

Full of quiet tension and a cast of fully-realized characters that feel like they could step off the page, Andrew Forbes’s Lands and Forests shows us what the short story was made to do: delight us, surprise us, and prompt us to more fully recognize ourselves.

Johanna Skibsrud, Scotiabank Giller Prize-winning author of The Sentimentalists, Quartet for the End of Time, and Tiger, Tiger