Jack Kerouac is Pregnant: Stories

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Dalkey Archive Press, 1994 - Fiction - 188 pages
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"It takes a long time to see you are a slave," muses one character in Aurelie Sheehan's first collection of stories - lyrical, sometimes bitingly funny chronicles of women breaking out of imposed roles. Here are the dreams of misplaced waitresses, prostitutes and other working girls, the survival techniques of secretaries too smart to take orders.
In the title story, a woman yearns to be like Jack Kerouac, but is held back by a litany of rules teaching her to be a submissive girl, a "pansy." The main character in "Look at the Moon" is bored to distraction by her receptionist job but is still half under the influence of a Catholic upbringing when she hooks up with a flamboyant stranger and goes on a life-altering road trip with her. In "The Dove," a wealthy widow who was pressured by her family to marry a rich man spends her life fixated on an affair she had a week before her wedding. Women young and old, rich and poor, make soul-threatening sacrifices to adhere to societal or familial strictures. Love is passionately evoked here, as are the myths and illusions that sustain it.
Sheehan uses narrative elements poetically: these kaleidoscopic stories subvert the linear notion of storytelling, creating momentum and effect instead through ellipses, layering and contrast. Jack Kerouac Is Pregnant is the impressive debut of a beguiling, assured writer.

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JACK KEROUAC IS PREGNANT

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Some women in this debut collection recognize a need to gain control of their lives, to break out of roles imposed upon them. A few, such as Kasha in "A Shape in the Water," think only that the world ... Read full review

Contents

A Shape in the Water
18
How to Have a Broken Heart
64
The Roller Skating Queen
70
Copyright

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About the author (1994)

Aurelie Sheehan is the author of two novels and two short story collections, most recently, Jewelry Box: A Collection of Histories (BOA Editions, 2013). Her work has appeared in Alaska Quarterly, Conjunctions, Epoch, Fairy Tale Review, Fence, New England Review, The New York Times, Ploughshares, The Southern Review, and elsewhere. She has received a Pushcart Prize, a Camargo Fellowship, and the Jack Kerouac Literary Award. Sheehan teaches fiction at the University of Arizona in Tucson.

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