Trip Sheets

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Milkweed Editions, 1998 - Fiction - 227 pages
1 Review
A deft, wry story of a young woman's exploration of her preferences -- sexual, emotional, familial, and otherwise -- "Trip Sheets" is a generous and inviting debut novel. Cath Rahven is a street-savvy cabbie in the Midwest, dropping in and out of unsatisfying relationships with men, when she decides to change her life. She makes lists: Don't drive a cab anymore. Don't sleep with men I don't like. Actually write that damn mystery. Sleep with women.

But change is not easy, and it's not quite, as her first female lover puts it, 'only sex.' Navigating lesbian poetry readings, karate classes, night school, new career moves, and endless taxi fares, Cath eventually settles on Maggie, a nurse, and on a job in social work. It is there that she discovers other lives are not straightforward or repairable. When her father's medical crisis propels her back to her family, she must fully come to grips with what she has made of herself and learn how to integrate her new life with the lives of those around her.

Moving and funny, blending strength of character with a distinctive lightness of touch, "Trip Sheets" meticulously details the pieces of a life falling into a new pattern. Much more than a simple coming-out tale, Ellen Hawley's debut is ultimately about finding just the right touch with which to link ourselves with those we love.

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About the author (1998)

Ellen Hawley is the author of the novels "Open Line" and "Trip Sheets". Her short fiction and essays have been published in a variety of magazines and anthologies. She has worked as an editor and copyeditor, a talk show host, a cab driver, a waitress, a janitor, an assembler, a file clerk, and for four fun-filled hours, a receptionist. She has also taught creative writing. Hawley is a native New Yorker who lived in Minnesota for two decades but now resides in Cornwall.

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