by Cary Holladay
Ohio University Press, 2006
Paper: 978-0-8040-1093-1 | Cloth: 978-0-8040-1092-4 | eISBN: 978-0-8040-4027-3
Library of Congress Classification PS3558.O347777Q5 2006
Dewey Decimal Classification 813.54


In these stories of magic and memory, clustered around a resort hotel in a small Virginia community, Cary Holladay takes the reader on an excursion through the changes wrought by time on the community and its visitors. From the quiet of a rural forest to the rhythms of rock and roll, The Quick-Change Artist is at once whimsical and hard-edged, dizzying in its matter-of-fact delivery of the fantastic.

Romance, a sense of place and belonging, and the supernatural—especially in the lives of children coming of age—offer windows into worlds beyond the ordinary throughout The Quick-Change Artist. In the title story, a young chambermaid is in love with a foreign magician who performs at the hotel where she works. In “Heaven,” set during the 1918 flu epidemic, a struggling mother and son rely on the support of their fortune-telling plow horse. The narrator of “Jane’s Hat” recalls a childhood enlivened by an unusual school principal and a friend who starts finding beauty everywhere.

Horses and the people who love them, wanderers and those who feed them, creatures that disappear and those who search for them: these are stories with a constant heart.

See other books on: City and town life | Holladay, Cary | Short Stories (single author) | Stories | Virginia
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