ID a book from a single passage?
November 15, 2007 2:20 AM   Subscribe

Can you ID this book from my memory of a short passage? Man hits deer while hurrying to the birth of his son.

I've been meaning to ask this for a while; I heard this short passage quoted on a Radio 4 quiz show, probably 5-10 years ago. I believe the author was American and male.

A man is driving along a mountain road to be present for the birth of his son, and he hits, and kills, a deer. He gets out of the car and checks on the deer, and sees that it was pregnant, and that the fawn is still kicking, inside its mother.

He stops, and thinks about his unborn son, and the unborn fawn, and... pushes the carcass off the road and down the side of the mountain.

I haven't done it justice here, obviously; I remember that the audience was struck dumb in that "wow" kind of way. I'd love to know if the rest of the book lives up to that single fragment.
posted by Leon to Writing & Language (5 answers total)
Best answer: Not quite what you describe, but the first thing I thought of was William Stafford's poem Traveling Through the Dark.
posted by Who_Am_I at 3:36 AM on November 15, 2007

Response by poster: That's remarkably similar, Who_Am_I... right down to the reflective pause before the action. And I suppose, read aloud, that poem could be taken as prose. Maybe I invented the bit about the birth.

Thanks! I'll hold off on best answer for the moment in case someone finds a prose version, but I think you may have nailed it.
posted by Leon at 3:49 AM on November 15, 2007

FWIW, Stafford's poem came straight to my mind too.
posted by nomis at 4:21 AM on November 15, 2007

I have a dim memory of this; Raymond Carver? John Updike?
posted by londongeezer at 5:51 AM on November 15, 2007

I'm thinking of Stafford's poem, too. It's fantastic, and I hadn't thought of it in years.
posted by malaprohibita at 6:55 AM on November 15, 2007

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