More of This World or Maybe Another
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More of This World or Maybe Another

3.9 11
by Barb Johnson
     
 

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More of This World or Maybe Another is a collection of award-winning short fiction about four outsiders whose unruly lives intersect on the back streets of New Orleans from writer Barb Johnson. Funny and haunting by turns, Johnson’s unforgettable characters are driven by something fragile and irresistible, a sputtering drive to love and be loved, inSee more details below

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Overview

More of This World or Maybe Another is a collection of award-winning short fiction about four outsiders whose unruly lives intersect on the back streets of New Orleans from writer Barb Johnson. Funny and haunting by turns, Johnson’s unforgettable characters are driven by something fragile and irresistible, a sputtering drive to love and be loved, in these “stunning stories . . . the kind that reveal, enlarge, and make living seem worth the trouble.” (Dorothy Allison)

Editorial Reviews

Donald Ray Pollock
“Barb Johnson’s beautiful and touching stories stirred up emotions in me that few books ever have…I hate to admit it, [but] I actually cried over a pig in one of the stories, and I used to work in a meatpacking plant!”
Robert Olen Butler
“What a pitch-perfect, utterly original, dazzlingly flexible narrative voice Barb Johnson has. Her collection of gritty, sad, funny stories from the Gulf Coast, More of This World or Maybe Another, is a truly exciting debut.”
Dorothy Allison
“Precise and gorgeous language...A wonderful sense of humor..Pathos made over into something much more effective--a vision of all these people just doing the best they can. These are stunning stories...the kind that reveal, enlarge, and make living seem worth the trouble.”
Joseph Boyden
“In this wickedly fine debut, Barb Johnson proves herself a master of the short story. Both the familiar and the extraordinary come to life on every page, and her characters will haunt you for a very long time.”
David Schickler
“This debut is elemental, precise, and charged with ragged, intimate grace. As the collection’s heroine Delia says to her lover, I would say to all readers: ‘Come see.’”
LambdaLiterary.org
“In this book, the music is earned by muscular language, empathy and emotional courage. The writing alone is a rare, sweet joy. Like a drop of water from Delia’s leaky faucet, each story in this brilliant collection breaks open in a fit of shine.”
Powells.com
“[A] gorgeous debut collection…heartbreakingly poignant…if a short story is a slice of life, then the sum of this collection shows the power of a moment, of how a whole life is ultimately comprised of its slices.”
Booklist
“Johnson is pitch-perfect in her spare yet lyrical descriptions, especially those of male-femaleinteractions, how going to war changes soldiers, and how love can be damaged or destroyed, asDelia describes her affair with Maggie as ‘a tear in my soul that just won’t heal.’ An insightful literary gem.”
Publishers Weekly
In her debut collection, Johnson maps the lives of several New Orleanians who orbit Delia Delahoussaye's Laundromat on Palmyra Street, where “saying hello and fighting can sound just alike.” The title story finds a stoned teenage Delia longing to kiss a girl named Chuck in the belly of an empty oil tank, a makeshift sense-deprivation chamber that Delia thinks “shakes you loose from yourself.” By the end of the second story, “Keeping Her Difficult Balance,” it's unclear whether Delia will ever escape her childhood identity. “If the Holy Spirit Comes for You” finds her brother, Dooley, nursing a pig his uncles want to slaughter, and the story's moral nuance and consequences echo through “Killer Heart,” where an older Dooley's good deeds lead to tragedy. In “Titty Baby,” a child called Pudge must protect his baby sister from an abusive father. Years later, in “St. Luis of Palmyra,” Pudge's child creates his own criminal code of conduct. Johnson has a deep well of empathy for her characters, and her book's big heart beats strongest when portraying Mid-City's most marginal characters. (Nov.)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780061732270
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
10/20/2009
Series:
P.S. Series
Pages:
188
Sales rank:
765,199
Product dimensions:
5.10(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.50(d)

Meet the Author

Barb Johnson has been a carpenter in New Orleans for more than twenty years. In 2008 she received her MFA from the University of New Orleans. While there, she won a grant from the Astraea Foundation, Glimmer Train's Short Story Award for New Writers, and Washington Square's short story competition. She is the fifth recipient of AROHO's $50,000 Gift of Freedom. This is her first collection.

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