In his utterly charming story of a World War II veteran and an enterprising pinup girl, Steve Amick has created a beautifully understated love letter to an America of harder times and simpler choices. It's 1944, and Wink Dutton, a former illustrator for Yank and Stars and Stripes, arrives in Chicago after an injury to his drawing hand gets him discharged. Renting a room above the camera shop run by Sal Chesterton--the wife of Wink's buddy, still stationed in the Philippines--Wink is surprised to learn how Sal is making ends meet: producing pinup photos for the soldiers' girlie magazines. In fact, she's using herself as a model. When Wink becomes a partner in her covert enterprise, it's the beginning of a collaboration that is both wonderfully sexy and pure, one that not only leads to Wink's reinvention as a photographer but also--amid the painful adjustments of the postwar world--blossoms into a subtle and unexpected romance.
Steve Amick is the author of The Lake, the River & the Other Lake. Born in Ann Arbor, Michigan, he received a BA from St. Lawrence University and an MFA in creative writing from George Mason University. His short stories have appeared in Playboy, The Southern Review, New England Review, Story, McSweeney's, in the anthology The Sound of Writing, and on National Public Radio. On walks with his wife and young son, he often passes the original Argus Camera building.