Jane McCafferty has published stories in Mademoiselle, New England Review, Bread Loaf Quarterly, Seattle Review, and other magazines. She was awarded the Mademoiselle Award for Fiction and the Robert Hillager First Prize for Fiction. Two of her stories appeared in Best American Short Stories of 1991.
Director Of The World And Other Storiesby Jane McCafferty
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The characters in Jane McCafferty’s Director of the World and Other Stories are often distanced, lonely, or displaced from others and the events around them, yet they are almost always ready to act, to become involved with others, and to change. In “Eyes of Others,” a woman, stopping with her family at a Howard Johnson’s during a trip, becomes fascinated by the meeting of two strangers and attempts to connect with them as she has been unable to connect with her own family.
Implicit in these stories is a rootlessness that gives way to yearning and a passion for remembering. In the title story, a disturbed child, whose father has recently abandoned the family, attempts, in language reflecting her shattered sense of the world, to recapture some of their last experiences together.
These characters, and others in the collection, attempt to make sense of their broken lives and shattered thoughts. As John Wideman writes of the stories, there is “a sense of commitment to the struggle of making silent worlds speak, of forcing what is threatening or evil or destructive into some form we can see and conjure with.”
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