Publication date: 2003
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In the Shadow of the Strip
Las Vegas Stories
Las Vegas holds a unique place in the popular imagination and in the work of any number of contemporary writers of fiction. The fourteen stories in this anthology explore the multifarious personalities of America’s “Sin City” through the experiences of the dreamers and gamblers, the losers and the lost, who inhabit Las Vegas and confront its myriad attractions and disappointments.
“This collection is more likely to spotlight aging alcoholics holed up at the Slots-O-Fun or the pathetic life of an unemployed prostitute than the standard Vegas hoopla. And it is this distinction between the myths and realities of Vegas—specifically the glaring gap that exists between the Strip’s entertainment world and the city’s locals, natives, and retirees—that the collection aims to portray. So what is the real Vegas? The most prominent theme of these stories is the irony in trying to pinpoint the exact exactness of Vegas. With a combination of alluring characters, compelling journeys, and intriguing, meditative tension, these stories do more than thwart Vegas’ cultural assumptions; they chip away at its complex identity.” —Sarah Faulkner, Southwestern American Literature
“For those who wish to know the real Las Vegas, this anthology of short fiction tells the truth.” —Jarret Keene, Las Vegas City Life, September 18, 2003
“A smorgasbord of style, theme, and subject matter, In the Shadow of the Strip seeks to give a three-dimensional view of this multifaceted and often schizophrenic city. This playful collection is a thoughtfully edited contribution to the western storytelling tradition as well as compelling primary evidence of the contradictory, enigmatic nature of a fascinating and understudied city.” —Heather Robison, Western American Literature, Winter 2006
H. Lee Barnes
is the author of Gunning for Ho: Vietnam Stories
, Dummy Up and Deal
, and The Lucky
, Ph.D., is professor of English at UNLV, chair of the Asian Studies Program, executive director of the Far West Popular and American Culture Association, and former book critic for KNPR public radio.
grew up in the small town of Cincinnatus, New York. Since 1970 he has taught at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, where he is a professor of English.
is a lawyer for Clark County, Nevada. His practice is limited to defending those accused of murder, including death penalty cases. On the brighter side, he has performed his off-kilter brand of humorous poetry/prose around the country since 1994. He is currently a featured commentator on KNPR.
is a Las Vegas-based freelance writer and an MFA student in UNLV's fiction program.
is a writer of both dramatic and prose fiction. He is the author of five novels and two books of stories, including Keno Runner
. He retired early from teaching at the University of Utah in June 2001 to devote full time to his writing.
is a staff writer for CityLife
, a news and culture paper based in Las Vegas.
Thomas A. Porter
is a writer living in Alaska.
was born in Colombia and moved to Las Vegas in 1964. He currently works as a Spanish Interpreter/ translator with the state and federal district courts.
has played center field for the rookie league team of the California/ Anaheim Angels, surfed professionally in Hawaii and Australia, worked as an accountant for the Laguna Dam in Yuma, Arizona, and has led adventure tours in Nepal, India, and Peru.
is the author of Flight and Other Stories
. For many years he worked as a Spanish-English translator and interpreter.
John L. Smith
is an award-winning columnist for the Las Vegas Review-Journal
and the author of Running Scared: The Life and Treacherous Times of Las Vegas Casino King Steve Wynn
and On the Boulevard.
is the author of Shadow Dancing in the USA
and The Death of Frank Sinatra