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From Barnes & NobleBarnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers
The stories in Davis's second collection have universal themes -- they're fully authentic yet distilled to an essence. The setting of each story is southern, but the ideas and emotions at play cannot be bound by geography: the loss of innocence, the acceptance of death, the relinquishment of one's dreams, the longings of the heart, and all the way stations -- short or far -- from the heart's true goal, love.
Our Former Lives in Art is a luminescent collection, each story building to a crescendo, a wave that finally crests and breaks with a sentence of such singular clarity that it takes your breath away. From "Giving Up the Ghost": "How much easier it is…to give to strangers what is too difficult to give to the ones who have witnessed our small, wretched failures." And from "Detritus": "I became man enough to have my heart shattered more than once, which is all we can ask for in life, those small moments of hope in the initial throes of love when all is still possible."
Davis writes not of traditional heroes or glorious deeds but of the wonder and miracle of the plain, the ordinary, and the everyday. Her stories call out to the reader: "Take the time to look, really look at what is near. Right here, beside you, in you, now." Read them, and smile with contentment. (Fall 2007 Selection)