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Curled in the Bed of Love

Curled in the Bed of Love

by Catherine Brady


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To read Curled in the Bed of Love is to feel the incessant tug between devotion and desire that can unmake even the closest couple. These eleven stories are set in the San Francisco Bay Area, and in true Left Coast style, Catherine Brady's characters are as resolute in evading middle-class conformity as they are in clinging to their illusions about love. And while they never shy from paying their dues, they can't help but wonder sometimes if their choices have at last accrued too high a cost. What lies in the bed of love, with women and men curled sometimes in repose, sometimes in a defensive knot, are failed dreams, reproofs, ambitions, and stubborn beliefs.

Always, mortality threatens the lovers' embrace. In the title story, Jim and his HIV-positive partner contend with an illness that has fueled their love but also threatens to consume it. In some stories, an outsider exposes the frailty of a relationship. Claire, who's opted for a steady marriage in "The Loss of Green," is both stirred and repelled by the advances of her former mate Sam, a radical environmentalist with a predatory need to reassert his claim on her. And in "Behold the Handmaid of the Lord," Debbie, compelled to translate a brief affair with her cousin's fiancé into a profound transgression, comes clean on a sleazy national talk show.

All of Brady's stories are gritty and unflinching in their gaze, yet lyrical and rich in the imagery of stasis and change—an empty house too long on the market, a pair of kayakers riding out a patch of rough sea, a greenhouse in which the orchid blooms only suggest the darting vitality of butterflies and birds. There is much to learn in these tales of flawed but good people working hard to hold their lives together.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780820342207
Publisher: University of Georgia Press
Publication date: 04/01/2012
Series: Flannery O'Connor Award for Short Fiction Series , #38
Pages: 216
Product dimensions: 4.80(w) x 7.60(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

CATHERINE BRADY is the author of Curled in the Bed of Love, which won the 2011 Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction. Her story collection The End of the Class War was a Book Sense 76 selection, and The Mechanics of Falling received the Northern California Book Award for Fiction. Her nonfiction works include Story Logic and the Craft of Fiction and Elizabeth Blackburn and the Story of Telomeres. She has taught in the MFA in Writing program at the University of San Francisco. Her stories have appeared in such publications as The Cimarron Review, Other Voices, The Missouri Review, The Kenyon Review, and Best American Short Stories 2004.

Table of Contents

The Loss of Green
Nothing to Hide
Honor Among Thieves
Curled in the Bed of Love
Light, Air, Water
Side by Side
Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird
Roam the Wilderness
Written in Stone
Behold the Handmaid of the Lord

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