Uncomfortably Numb

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The Porcupine's Quill, 2002 - Fiction - 191 pages
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The Wellington of Sharon English's debut collection is a city unmistakably like her hometown of London, Ont. A linked-story exploration of teenage angst and folly, this book would likely make its author the main event at her high-school reunion - if she dared to show. In the tidy suburb of Greenview, Germaine Stevens joins her friend Jackie in a darkened bedroom. Jackie may have "an idiot" for a dad - but a useful one. He's a drug wholesaler with a station wagon full of samples. To the raw tones of Meat Loaf, the girls pop tabs of Probene "for the relief of stress, anxiety and mental agitation." Barely graduated from building snow forts, the two now collaborate on bedroom shrines to flamed-out rock stars. Jimi Hendrix gets a black baby doll mummified in gauze; Jim Morrison sulks from a poster with X's taped over his eyes. Germaine ("Germ" to her dearest) is our jaded guide to a life cursed with two-faced parents, laughable teachers and gag-making, uncool schoolmates - such as Debbie, who whispers in French class with minty breath, "It's freaky ... but I really feel Tony's my destiny." She's even got the diamond to prove it.'

 

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Contents

Monsters
21
A Short Chronicle of TenthGrade Love
41
Thaw
61
Clear Blue
79
Heirlooms
97
The Academic Adviser
117
Bread and Stones
135
A Dirty Little Secret
155
Evolutions
173
Copyright

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About the author (2002)

Sharon English is the author of two collections of short stories. Zero Gravity (Porcupine's Quill, 2006) was long-listed for the 2007 Giller Prize, short-listed for the 2007 ReLit Award, and included as a Globe and Mail notable book for 2006. English's first collection, Uncomfortably Numb, was praised by the Globe and Mail, THIS Magazine and Books in Canada, among others, for being `highly readable,' with a deft use of `language that ambushes the read

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