Flynn Hawkins is a graduate assistant at a prestigious university, on his way to greatness and wisdom. But in the aftermath of 9/11, Flynn leaves his unhappy marriage and beloved children, resigns his teaching position and heads west, only to get lost in his guilt and in the mountains of Colorado.
When he ends up stuck overnight in a snow drift during a blizzard on the Continental Divide, he realizes he needs to remake himself into the kind of man his children need him to be.
With wit and insight, David Hicks turns a compassionate but unblinking eye on what it means to be human—to be lost while putting yourself back together again, to be cowardly while being brave, to fail and fail again on the way to something that might be success.
“For the single man, in this case dear Flynn in White Plains, it can be a rocky road to climb toward grace; and David Hicks shows us every glorious bump on the way. I found myself groaning at each of Flynn’s stumbles, but always hoping for him (especially as he assembles himself as a parent) in this glowing set of stories, a book that reads like late night messages sent from a friend. This is an honest look at a man moving from punishing bad faith toward something he finally hopes is good.”
—Ron Carlson, American novelist and short story writer, award-winning author of four story collections and four novels, including Five Skies
“What happens when a man risks everything in search of a real home and big love? David Hicks shares the answer in White Plains, a thrilling and thoughtful take on what it means to live life to the fullest.”
—Sophfronia Scott, award-winning author, including the novel All I Need to Get By
“In the middle of the Gunnison River in Escalante Canyon, south of Grand Junction, two enormous boulders are wedged together in the clear, rushing water, creating a giant stone recliner. This was where Flynn used to go when he was missing his children. He would sit there and listen to the water, watching for bighorn sheep. On the day he left Colorado, he had awakened before dawn and turned off at the canyon road to say goodbye to the river. He climbed down the embankment, removed his hiking boots and socks, and waded into the icy water just as the rising sun slanted its rays through a split in the canyon wall. He heaved himself onto the rocky recliner and listened to the canyon awaken: the screech of a hawk, the whistle of a marmot, the wet spanks of a beaver’s tail. He imagined what it would feel like to hold Nathan’s spindly body again, to breathe in the sweet scent of Janey’s skin.”
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
David Hicks co-directs the Mile-High MFA program at Regis University in Denver, Colorado. White Plains is his debut novel, published by Conundrum Press in 2017. Excerpts from the novel have been published as short stories in Glimmer Train, Colorado Review, Specs, Saranac Review, South Dakota Review, and in other journals.
David, who is from Harrison, New York, now lives in Colorado with his wife, the poet Cynthia Kolanowski, with his children Stephen and Caitlin nearby. David and Cynthia enjoy hiking with their dog Rosie and meeting Stephen and Caitlin for big breakfasts at Cozy Cottage, Jelly, and Sassafras.
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