Winner of the Katherine Anne Porter Prize in Short Fiction, 2007.
This extraordinary first collection of short stories covers the landscape of dysfunctional childhood, urban angst, and human disconnection with a wit and insight that keep you riveted to the page. The characters here have rich and imaginative interior lives, but grave difficulty relating to the outside world. The beginning story, "Ducklings," introduces the over-weight and over-enthusiastic Marjorie, the last twelve-year-old you would want babysitting your toddler. In "Wanted" we meet Eleanor, a single girl living in Chicago who may or may not be dating a serial killer. "Another Cancer Story" is an unsentimental account of two sisters whose beloved mother just won't seem to die, and "The Last Dead Boyfriend" gives us a recovering addict who keeps encountering her recently deceased boyfriend, an unpleasant man she wished she'd broken up with before he died.
Always funny, often dark, and wholly satisfying, these stories explore the longing for connection among characters who are frequently stricken with anxiety. Each story is rendered in a way that is surreal, vivid, and entirely convincing.
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2 Another Cancer Story
3 What She Should Do
5 In Mem
10 Six Different Ways to Die in the Windy City
11 Tribute to an Optometrist
12 Look at the Sky and Tell Me What You See
13 Words to Live By
14 The Last Dead Boyfriend
15 Wonderful Girl
9 Our Last Supper
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