Fiction. A FINE ROMANCE & OTHER STORIES focuses on love relationships of one kind or another and involves a variety of intertextuality or implied texts within texts. For example, one story interacts with Kafka's "Metamorphosis." Another with the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice. Another with three films by Jean–Luc Godard. The title story, about a romance novelist, has the text of the novel being written interacting with the real time text the narrating novelist is living in. There's a touch of epistolary text in a story about a woman writing a letter from jail to her sister. There's a story about a man reading the novel his wife has been writing about her marriage to that man now reading the narrative in secret and on the computer. And in the final story, there is the text of a woman writing postcards to her husband, while she does a world tour all by herself—the husband worrying if those postcard texts will cease and his wife never come back. These stories are vivid and varied in their lyric realism or, at times, urgent fantasy.
John Allman spent his early childhood in the Hell's Kitchen neighborhood of Manhattan. In 1943, his family moved to Astoria, Queens, where he attended William Cullen Bryant High School until he dropped out in 1952. He earned his academic diploma at night school while working as a laboratory technician in the product control labs of Pepsi–Cola. He then enrolled in Brooklyn College as a pre–med student, but later transferred to Hunter College in the Bronx. He settled on studying the humanities and decided to become a writer. For his MA in English literature and creative writing from Syracuse University, he studied with Donald Dike, Cecil Lang, Philip Booth and Delmore Schwartz. He is retired from college teaching and lives in Katonah, New York, with his wife Eileen Allman, a Shakespearean scholar and writer. He has published eight book–length collections of poetry, and his first book, Walking Four Ways in the Wind, was published in the Princeton Series of Contemporary Poets in 1979. New Directions published a number of his books, including Allman's first fiction collection, Descending Fire & Other Stories (1994).Author City: Katonah, NY USA