Pieces Like Pottery is an examination of the sorrows of life, the strength of character, the steadfast of courage, and the resiliency of love requisite to find redemption. Offering graceful insight into the human condition, each linked story presents a tale of loss and love. Charged with characters mercifully experiencing trials in life, the book reminds us of the sorrows we all encounter and the kindness we receive, oftentimes from the unlikeliest of places.
In common with most reviewers I know, I receive a large number of e-mails from new authors asking for reviews or features. When Dan Buri made contact, his e-mail caught my attention – he’d made the e-mail personal, and I really, really liked the look of his short fiction collection, Pieces Like Pottery. The collection is gathering some great reviews, and is available through Amazon in the UK and US, and also on iBooks, Nook, and Kobo. It is currently not in print, but he hopes to see that happen in 2016. I very sadly don’t have the space to read it at the moment, but it’ll most certainly be on my list for the future.
With thanks to Dan, let me share a little more:
The first collection of short fiction from Dan Buri, Pieces Like Pottery is an exploration of heartbreak and redemption that announces the arrival of a new American author. In this distinct selection of stories marked by struggle and compassion, Pieces Like Pottery is a powerful examination of the sorrows of life, the strength of character, the steadfast of courage, and the resiliency of love requisite to find redemption. Filled with graceful insight into the human condition, each linked story presents a tale of loss and love.
In Expect Dragons, James Hinri learns that his old high school teacher is dying. Wanting to tell Mr. Smith one last time how much his teaching impacted him, James drives across the country revisiting past encounters with his father’s rejection and the pain of his youth. Disillusioned and losing hope, little did James know that Mr. Smith had one final lesson for him.
In The Gravesite, Lisa and Mike’s marriage hangs in the balance after the disappearance of their only son while backpacking in Thailand. Mike thinks the authorities are right—that Chris fell to his death in a hiking accident—but Lisa has her doubts. Her son was too strong to die this young, and no one can explain to her why new posts continue to appear on her son’s blog.
Twenty-Two looks in on the lives of a dock worker suffering from the guilt of a life not lived and a bartender making the best of each day, even though he can see clearly how his life should have been different. The two find their worlds collide when a past tragedy shockingly connects them.
A collection of nine stories, each exquisitely written and charged with merciful insight into the trials of life, Pieces Like Pottery reminds us of the sorrows we all encounter in life and the kindness we receive, oftentimes from the unlikeliest of places.
As authors, we are often asked, “When did you first start writing?” or “Why do you write?” The typical answer that most authors give, myself included, is some sort of anecdote about a deep rooted love of writing or a long held passion for story telling that we have possessed since a very young age, and while this is in fact true, it doesn’t seem to get to the heart of the matter. We do enjoy telling stories, of course. Taking a passionate life event or a spectacular action sequence and committing it to the page in an effective and compelling manner is the great challenge of the writer. The goal is to communicate to the reader. Trying to accomplish this in a way that is captivating is what all writers seek. But the question still remains—Why do we write?
The fact that we as writers enjoy storytelling doesn’t necessarily shed light on why we write at all in the first place. In my estimation, there seems to be something much more fundamental to the human experience that compels us to write.
Good writing is proven through the ability to write well, rather than the ability to come up with great ideas. A fine writer can compose a good story because she has good ideas that are the foundation of the story, but great writers are able to take the most mundane subjects and write marvelously about them. The distinguished writer G.K. Chesterton, for example, has written essays on topics as banal as boredom and resting. They are extremely thought provoking and entertaining essays. On the other hand, poor writing can destroy a great idea.
The key for great writers is that they can capture a reader’s attention with even the simplest of subjects just because their writing is extraordinary. When first starting out, too many writers have an interesting idea or a persuasive plot line, and they simply begin to write. They fail to realize that a persuasive plot line does not a good writer make. As writers, we need to learn to write well first and worry about the interesting ideas later. The goal of the writer is to communicate to the reader, whether through a story, a novel, an essay, a poem, or any other form of written word. As writers, we’re trying to communicate, and great writers have perfected this mode of communication.
The human species is a communicative being and, as such, we are all searching for people with whom to communicate and for people to understand us. Whether it is with our family, our friends, our coworkers, or the barista at the local coffee shop, we long to communicate even just a little part of ourselves. As communicative beings, we yearn to be seen and because of this, we strive to see others as well. Call it an extension of the Golden Rule—we try to understand those around us that we love because we want to be understood ourselves. At the root of things, this is why we write. We may have a deep rooted love for story telling, but ultimately we want to see and be seen; we want to understand and be understood. We write to preserve a memory, to sustain a thought. Without it, we fear we will become forgotten.
I don’t know about you, but that makes me really want to read his work. If you feel the same, Dan has asked me to offer one reader the opportunity to win an e-copy of Pieces Like Pottery, which he’ll gift via Amazon. The competition is now closed, and the winner is Linda Hill – congratulations Linda, I’ll pass your email address on to Dan forthwith.
Dan Buri’s first collection of short fiction, Pieces Like Pottery, is an exploration of heartbreak and redemption that announces the arrival of a new American author. His writing is uniquely heartfelt and explores the depths of the human struggle and the human search for meaning in life.
His non-fiction works have been distributed online and in print, including publications in Pundit Press, Tree, Summit Avenue Review, American Discovery, and TC Huddle. The defunct and very well regarded Buris On The Couch, was a He-Says/She-Says blog musing on the ups and downs of marriage with his wife.
Mr. Buri is an active attorney in the Pacific Northwest and has been recognized by Intellectual Asset Magazine as one of the World’s Top 300 Intellectual Property Strategists every year since 2010. He lives in Oregon with his wife and two-year-old daughter.