Skip to main content

The Past Leads a Life of Its Own

The Past Leads a Life of Its Own is a compelling collection of stories centered around one boy’s childhood in the rural midwest in the 1950s, his love of nature, his family, and their often nomadic existence.

"Going through these pages quickly would be like chug-a-lugging a jar of honey fresh from the comb, or wolfing down a slow-cured, hickory-smoked country ham. It is a rich and complexly flavored work of fiction, a book to be savored."—Harper Barnes, St. Louis Post-Dispatch

"Set against the rhythms of nature, Fields’s 16 luminous, interrelated stories celebrate a boy’s coming-of-age. . . . The beauty of these deeply felt stories lies in their spare, ear-perfect language and in quiet epiphanies."—Publishers Weekly

"[A] beautifully subtle work. . . . Here are a series of vignettes, each capturing some moment in nature, poetic and ethereal. . . . [They] are like stones skipping on water, capturing the struggles of a family leaving one way of life behind for another, Fields remembers the feeling of a time and a place gone forever."—Library Journal

272 pages | 5-1/4 x 8 | © 1992

Phoenix Fiction


Table of Contents

1. One Goes Leaping
2. Stone Flowers
3. The Ascension of Reverend Watkins
4. From Shire’s End
5. A Child’s History of Work
6. Easter
7. Resurrection and Death
8. The Three Times I Saw My Father Run
9. May Ice
10. The Frog and the King
11. Cicada Season
12. Among the Women
13. The Next Room: A Grownup’s Story
14. Of Them, Much Is Required
15. Quilting
16. More Than the Watchman for the Morning

Be the first to know

Get the latest updates on new releases, special offers, and media highlights when you subscribe to our email lists!

Sign up here for updates about the Press