The best of these 15 essays by Garrison (English/Central Washington State Univ.), written mostly in the present tense and dealing often with experiences in Mexico or the American Northwest, offer the rewards of superb short fiction—a juxtaposition of emotional and personal significance with strongly evoked settings. ``We practice two kinds of hearing,'' Garrison writes in ``The Tour Guide,'' which combines personal instances with reflections on the nature of narrative. ``At any moment, we may be listening to a story, or we may be listening through it to the suggestions that lie beyond it.'' That sort of layering effect is Garrison's method.
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