Reading can be a form of escape from life’s troubles, but it can also be a way to get in touch with our innermost feelings about the world and to seek answers. Such is the appeal of David Guterson’s story collection Problems with People, a volume about the drama of the everyday. Populated with characters facing different challenges, each story is psychologically nuanced and deeply moving. Take “Shadow,” excerpted in full below, told from the point of view of an elderly father struggling with the onset of dementia. As the effects of the disease cast a pall over his flickering mind, you’ll feel intense sympathy for a man in the twilight of his life.
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