Briefly Knocked Unconscious By A Low-Flying Duck: Stories From 2nd Story

Briefly Knocked Unconscious By A Low-Flying DuckSince early man carved bison and spears on cave walls, humankind has been telling stories. Today, short personal essays are a mainstay on the airways, the web, and in theaters and bars across the country. This anthology brings the vibrant oral tradition to the page through the work of our collective of story-makers and story-lovers, all building community through storytelling. We culled through ten years of archived performances to select the twenty-three essays presented in this collection.

ISBN: 978-0984670062
Publisher: Elephant Rock Books
Pages: 248
Binding: Paperback
Information For Booksellers

Where You Can Buy Briefly Knocked Unconscious By A Low-Flying Duck:
[Elephant Rock Books] · [Your Favorite Local Bookstore] · [Amazon] · [Barnes & Noble]

From The Editor:

A few years ago, after first performing a very early version of the story “Here, Capture Something,” a gentleman from the audience approached me after the show and, through tears and a joyous smile, put his hand on my shoulder and said right into my eyes: “I know exactly what you mean.”

Superficially, he and I had little, if anything, in common. My story was about a woman; his experience had been with a man. I was a skinny Caucasian in my late 20s; he was a model-handsome African-American in his (if I had to guess) mid-30s wearing a suit and tie that put my cheap polo shirt to shame; he and his friend had crossed paths in New York, while the woman and I had met in India. But the point stood: even if he hadn’t been there, he had still been there. He heard the words, but as a result of his own experiences he also knew what I was saying.

I thought about that a lot while working on this book. One of the questions we ask ourselves a lot at 2nd Story is “what is this story about?” Which is to say, “what is the real point of this piece outside of the plot?” My piece that night at Webster’s related the tale of a brief yet meaningful relationship in a foreign country (which maybe not everyone has experienced), but my piece that night at Webster’s was really about where and how we make difficult decisions, and how our brain and heart often work at cross purposes, and I would bet most of us in this world have been through that a time or two. Or I would read again through Julia Borcherts’ “Running On Empty” and, while I have never been stuck in a snowstorm while a gunman is on the loose in Rockford, I would nod silently at how perfectly she had captured those feelings of helplessness and resignation.

I would read again through Sara Kerastas’ “Xena: Cardboard Princess” and laugh to myself, not because I was ever a fan of that show, but because I know exactly what it’s like to want something and someone so close yet so out of reach.

I would read again (and again) through Ric Walker’s “Push, Kick, Coast,” and even though I have never been to the United Skates of America, I still know . . . well, you’ll have to read that one yourself. But believe me, it’s a good one.

These stories are all first-person, but that in no way means these stories are about one person. These are stories about elation and despair, about loving and losing and loving all over again, about all the things that make us who we are and the things that make life what it is. I hope you like this book. I know I do.

— Andrew Reilly

What They’re Saying About Briefly Knocked Unconscious By A Low-Flying Duck:

Ben Tanzer, author of Lucky Man:

“But what a treat, the genre, the writers, and the Chicagoness of it all. As we said, sometimes things come to you, and they’re like a gift, and this collection is a gift, and it will linger, so please do take a look, because it just might change your life.”

Dan Sinker, author of The F***ing Epic Twitter Quest of @MayorEmanuel:

“The best part about the stories in this collection isn’t that they’re captivating (though they are). And it isn’t that they bring a tear just as much as they’ll bring a smile (though they will). And it’s not that they’ll introduce you to some of Chicago’s most incredible new writing talent (though that’ll happen too). No, the best part about these stories in this collection is that they are true.”

Heidi Durrow, author of The Girl Who Fell From The Sky:

“These fresh voice-driven narratives will make you laugh and ache. A wonderful collection with the heart of true storytellers.”