Boys and Girls Like You and Me: Storiesby Aryn Kyle
ARYN KYLE, whose award-winning novel The God of Animals was hailed as "reason for readers to rejoice" (USA Today), turns her gift for storytelling to the lives of girls and women in this spectacular collection. These eleven stories showcase Kyle’s keen eye for character, her humor, and her uncanny grasp of the loneliness, selfishness, and longing that underlie female experience.
In "Nine," a young girl given to exaggeration escapes a humiliating ninth birthday celebration with the help of her father’s new girlfriend. The dubious benefits of sleeping with one’s boss are revealed when a bookstore manager defends an employee from an irate customer in the hilarious "Sex Scenes from a Chain Bookstore." A raid on a neighbor’s meth lab strengthens the unlikely friendship between a solitary woman and a Goth teenage girl in "Boys and Girls Like You and Me." And in a notable exception to the rule, "Captain’s Club" features a boy whose devotion to a lonely woman transforms his cruise vacation.
In moments electric with sudden harmony or ruthless indifference, the girls and women in this collection provoke, beguile, and entertain. Writing with remarkable tenderness and wisdom, Kyle gives us a collection radiant with bittersweet revelations and startling insights, and secures her reputation as a major young talent.
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- 5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.60(d)
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Meet the Author
Aryn Kyle is the author of the bestselling novel The God of Animals and a graduate of the University of Montana writing program. Her short stories have appeared in Ploughshares, The Georgia Review, Alaska Quarterly Review, Best New American Voices 2005, Best American Short Stories 2007, and The Atlantic Monthly, for which her story "Foaling Season" won a National Magazine Award. She is also the recipient of the American Library Association's Alex Award, the Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’Award, and others. She lives in New York.
- Missoula, Montana
- Date of Birth:
- January 22, 1978
- Place of Birth:
- Peoria, Illinois
- B.A., Colorado State University, 2001; M.F.A. in Fiction, University of Montana, 2003
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Aryn Kyle’s Boys and Girls Like You and Me is the female perspective within our post modern world. This collection of short stories is a must read for anyone interested in the trials and trivialities of the female adolescent and beyond, attempting to make sense of this world. Kyle keeps the reader glued to the pages through the emotional familiarities she establishes that are brutally realistic. Even I, as a male reader, felt an empathetic connection to the characters, while adding a new perspective of what it can mean to be a female. The many themes of love, coming-of-age, rebellion, hatred, beauty and dysfunction rings through as the reader proceeds through the stories. Kyle creates a tone for each story in order to keep variety and to present each character – or lack of character – with a new set of experience, strife, and personality. This undoubtedly keeps the reader anticipating what the next story will hold. No need to have handy the dictionary for this one, Kyle uses diction for effect not as an sophomoric utensil to wow the reader. The characters voice – or tears – is created largely created through descriptions of the particular scene and through the thought dialogue of the characters. This allows the reader to visualize not only the setting but feel as if he/she is right there next to the character. You can feel the tension when the protagonist is unnerved or you can feel the awkwardness between a distant mother and her daughter, as in the end of Allegiance. Although this book is easy to read through, I would caution readers younger than the high school age to read this, as it does have some pretty crude and sexually explicit descriptions. However, literature is an art form that reveals the reality in which we live just as any painting does, so who am I to sensor this book. Now, back from a tangent, Boys and Girls Like You and Me does not need to force its way into the shelf next to books that address the struggle to cope with society – like Catcher in the Rye – but is welcomed and mingles nicely among the classics. This book is a piece of true modern literature that illustrates what goes on behind the eyelids of females and the cause and effect that plays a large part in their actions. Kyle also paints a picture of school dynamic in a way that is both alarmingly accurate and begs many questions, asking: what is wrong with our society to allow such social battering?! So, the only way to get a feel for what I am talking about is to pick up Aryn Kyle’s Boys and Girls Like You and Me and read just one of the short stories. This book leaves you with the undeniable truth about what it means to grow up in this modern world and will provoke you to look deeper into the actions and emotions of those that surround you.
Aryn brings to life the trials and tribulations of adolescence and young adulthood. The short stories are thought-provoking and remind the reader of his/her own coming of age experiences.