This Is Only A Test

Paperback | February 1, 2016

byB.J. Hollars

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On April 27, 2011, just days after learning of their pregnancy, B. J. Hollars, his wife, and their future son endured the onslaught of an EF-4 tornado. There, while huddled in a bathtub in their Alabama home, mortality flashed before their eyes. With the last of his computer battery, Hollars began recounting the experience, and would continue to do so in the following years, writing his way out of one disaster only to find himself caught up in another. Tornadoes, drownings, and nuclear catastrophes force him to acknowledge the inexplicable, while he attempts to overcome his greatest fear-the impossibility of protecting his newborn son from the world's cruelties. Hollars creates a constellation of grief, tapping into the rarely acknowledged intersection between fatherhood and fear, sacrifice and safety, and the humbling effect of losing control of our lives.

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On April 27, 2011, just days after learning of their pregnancy, B. J. Hollars, his wife, and their future son endured the onslaught of an EF-4 tornado. There, while huddled in a bathtub in their Alabama home, mortality flashed before their eyes. With the last of his computer battery, Hollars began recounting the experience, and would c...

B. J. Hollars is author of two award-winning nonfiction books, Thirteen Loops: Race, Violence and the Last Lynching in America and Opening the Doors: The Desegregation of the University of Alabama and the Fight for Civil Rights in Tuscaloosa, as well as Sightings (IUP, 2013) and Dispatches from the Drownings: Reporting the Fiction of N...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:180 pages, 8 × 5.25 × 0.68 inPublished:February 1, 2016Publisher:Indiana University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:025301817X

ISBN - 13:9780253018175

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Extra Content

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments

I. Dizzied
Goodbye, Tuscaloosa
A Test of the Emergency Alert System
Epistle to an Embryo
To the Good People of Joplin
Fifty Ways of Looking at Tornadoes
The Longest Wait

II. Drowned
The Girl in the Surf
Dispatches from the Drownings
Buckethead
The Changing
Death by Refrigerator

III. Dropped
Fabricating Fear
Fort Wayne Is Still Seventh on Hitler's List
The Year of the Great Forgetting
Hirofukushima
Punch Line
Bedtime Story

Works Consulted
Credits
Book Club Guide

Editorial Reviews

"In these quirky, inventive stories, B.J. Hollars depicts a world both dangerous and unreasonable, a place where the local TV meteorologist assumes the quality of a god. Character may not be fate inThis Is Only A Testbut the reverse is always true-we reveal ourselves by our response to the random cruelties of the universe, from errant meteor strikes to a small child's fever rising in the night." -John Hildebrand, author ofThe Heart of Things: A Midwestern Almanac