No Thanks- and other Stories

No Thanks- and other Stories

by Sarah Jane Smith


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781930974104
Publisher: New Issues Poetry and Prose
Publication date: 10/28/2001
Series: New Issues Poetry and Prose Series
Pages: 201
Product dimensions: 5.00(w) x 7.50(h) x 0.66(d)

Table of Contents

Selling the House5
Valerie Rakes the Leaves13
Healing the Mare39
Gar Fishing57
Turtle Hunting with Black67
Black Bean Soup95
Oboe Camp113
Metamorphose, Oboe139
No Thanks153
My Father Weeping167
Jack in Chicago187

What People are Saying About This

Jaimy Gordon

“Sarah Jane Smith's brilliant and meticulous novel-in-stories is actually a cousin to sprawling family sagas like Gone With the Wind. Her central figure is not a person (although there are unforgettable characters here) but a disputed family property. The lake house in No Thanks and Other Stories is the remnant of the maternal dowry, an ugly, beloved manse whose upkeep and threatened loss drive the mother, Valerie, to suicide. Smith's portrait of Valerie is savage, funny, poignant and finally mysterious: Was it the monster of a house, the marriage gone absurdly bad, or the bitter curdling of her old hunger for beauty and delight that killed Valerie? Her children, especially Clara, ponder the question fitfully and chase on after their own hungers. Like Valerie before her, Clara loves animals: Valerie took them in, nursed and indulged them; Clara dotes on them and finally does them harm. Sarah Smith manages, in her rendering of Valerie and Clara in their southwest Michigan landscape, to combine almost miraculously the skewed perceptions of women on the brink of madness with apprehensions of teeming nature that make one gasp with their freshness, clarity and accuracy. Sarah Jane Smith sees the Michigan inland lake country as no one else has seen it: in her stories its bogs and coves, meadows and banks are as exotic, as tremulously lush and imperiled as Mathiessen's viny Amazon.”

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