In this striking debut collection, Christie Hodgen examines the shifting fortunes of several hard-pressed American families, charting their triumphs and failures with honesty and precision. Humor, loneliness, optimism, and despair commingle in these memorable stories.
About the Author
Christie Hodgen lives in Columbia, Missouri. Her awards include the Tobias Wolff Award for Fiction, the Ernest Hemingway Days Festival Short Fiction Prize, the Quarterly West Novella Prize, and a National Endowment for the Arts literature fellowship.
What People are Saying About This
This is a work of considerable imagination and dexterity, a work in which the characters breathe fully, the language consistently surprises and satisfies, the stories fulfill that most basic of requirements-something serious happens. In story after story the elements of drama are cleverly arranged and deployed with great skill. We are touched time after time as we recognize the characters, as they are brought into close focus and play out their lives before our eyes. Things are a little odd in this world, but no odder than the way we live now. In the painfully detailed title story, a narrator remembers a peculiar boy from her high school, tracks his life and their tenuous relation until a missed connection seems to participate in his final, successful attempt at suicide.... In another a mother who 'fought off a high school state champion wrestler in the back seat of his Chevy by holding the blade of her ice skate to his temple,' eventually marries the very same wrestler and gives birth to Wednesday, a wonderful character who takes up escort work almost altogether by accident. This collection is a wry, funny, touching, resonant work of fiction, a bright new voice in the culture, a striking addition to our current literature. These stories speak to the world as they find it, as difficult, troubled, nasty, small, corrupt, and violent as it is, and yet in this world they manage to uncover grace, kindness, and generosity. A marvelous story collection.