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Age of Miracles
     

Age of Miracles

by Ellen Gilchrist
 

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In her exuberantly funny, bittersweet new collection, 'The Age of Miracles, ' ordinary events start the wheel of fate spinning in unexpected directions: a deluge of dust motes leads a socialite to seek a healthier climate, where she finds romance instead of rest.

Overview

In her exuberantly funny, bittersweet new collection, 'The Age of Miracles, ' ordinary events start the wheel of fate spinning in unexpected directions: a deluge of dust motes leads a socialite to seek a healthier climate, where she finds romance instead of rest.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Back in top form after several books that seemed self-indulgent, Gilchrist offers 16 stories that shine with tolerance for the vagaries of human nature. Set mainly in Fayetteville, Ark., and New Orleans, the tales here have both substance and subtext, and are artfully fashioned. Most are told in an easy conversational style, as though Gilchrist and the listener were on a porch settee sipping glasses of Scotch. Marked by wit as well as a weathered view of the battle of the sexes, they feature unconventional, strong-willed, impetuous women who hurt those they love, innocent children bewildered by their elders' behavior and one or two shining examples of human beings. The narrators are often middle-aged women who indulge in acerbic aperus fueled by an undercurrent of pain. Feisty, sexy Rhoda Manning, whom we met in Victory Over Japan and later books, appears in half of the stories here, learning to be a writer, endeavoring to be a good mother, fighting the lure of the bottle or succumbing to yet another flirtation that leads to ``fucking without mercy.'' Standouts among the stories, which intertwine, include the wise and poignant ``Love of My Life'' and ``Joyce,'' and the larky ``Divorce.'' Gilchrist is outspoken about abortion rights, rueful about the effect of AIDS, irreverent about the insurance industry (in a lightweight but funny epistolary story). ``The massive tentacles of... family'' continue to haunt her characters, but they cope with what life brings them, crazy survivors in an imperfect world. (May)
Library Journal
This collection of stories hops about in the life of Rhoda Manning. An alcoholic, anorexic housewife who dreams of becoming a writer, Rhoda goes to Fayetteville, Arkansas, to attend the University of Arkansas writing program. There she meets with success, finds her muse, and becomes a famous writer. Her wild personal life provides material for her stories, which interweave associated family members, neighbors, and friends to create a chaotic picture of her existence. The stories are not presented in chronological order, and each seems to focus on evoking a different response, ranging from hilarity to despair. The language seesaws from rude to elegant. Gilchrist shows great versatility and finesse in this her 11th book. Recommended for fiction collections.-Joanna M. Burkhardt, Univ. of Rhode Island Coll. of Continuing Education Lib., Providence

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780316314800
Publisher:
Little, Brown and Company
Publication date:
04/28/1996
Pages:
272

Meet the Author

Ellen Gilchrist is the award-winning author of more than 20 books, including novels, short story collections, essays and poetry. Her new collection of stories, ACTS OF GOD, will be published in April 2014 by Algonquin, along with the paperback release of her novel A DANGEROUS AGE. She lives in Fayetteville, Arkansas and Ocean Springs, Mississippi, and teaches creative writing and contemporary fiction at the University of Arkansas.

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