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Ed Garrison has it all: a successful basketball career, a great relationship with his kid brother, and a supportive family. With summer vacation the only thing standing between him and a full-ride scholarship to UC Berkeley, Ed feels invincible. But everything falls apart when his mother leaves his father for a woman three thousand miles away. Soon, Ed lashes out. He turns down his scholarship in favor of attending a small school in Northern California to distance himself from his family. As the years pass, Ed has no choice but to reckon with his past mistakes as his dreams of a basketball career are shattered and his family continues to crumble.
J.T. Bushnell teaches writing and literature at Oregon State University. His fiction has been published in twenty literary journals, and his essays about writing appear in Poets & Writers, The Writer, and Fiction Writers Review, where he is a contributing editor. The Step Back is his first novel.