Port Authority Orchids

Port Authority Orchids

by Stephanie Dickinson




Fiction. A novel of connected short stories, PORT AUTHORITY ORCHIDS documents, in precise and delicious prose, the delicate but fun psychological terrain of Manhattan as experienced by Dalloway, an idealistic thirteen-year-old prodigy with a transexual father and an emotionally-distant but still loving mother. Along with her cohort and partner-in-crime, Hannah, she navigates territory that is sometimes poignant, sometimes taboo, but always colorful, dark, and entertaining. If you loved Clowe's graphic novel Ghost World, you will love this book.

"This enigmatic classic by Stephanie Dickinson, follows thirteen-year-old prodigy Dalloway as she spends Easter vacation with her father and grandmother in Manhattan. Both father and grandmother constantly hog the spotlight, leaving Dalloway feeling largely invisible. (Those familiar with her namesake from Virginia Woolf's novel may remember that Clarissa Dalloway, too, "had the oddest sense of herself being invisible"). Dalloway also has a preoccupation with hybrid animals and likens her family to them (her transgendered father being a cross between male and female; and her grandmother, having just undergone cosmetic surgery, being a cross between young and old). As Dalloway soon learns, she is consubstantial with her father and grandmother. She is nothing but a domesticated hybrid in the wilderness that is New York City. Just as the protected existence of Woolf's Clarissa Dalloway had left her ignorant of the experience of the lower classes, so too is the Dalloway of this story ignorant of life outside her bubble. Bolstering this offbeat cautionary tale throughout is its gimlet humor. Dickinson also limns so well the frightening and majestic backdrop of New York, the 'sexiest address in the world.' Thanks to Dickinson's mesmerizing narrative, it's easy for the reader to get lost in the city, even if just on the page."—Matthew Limpede

"PORT AUTHORITY ORCHIDS is a coming-of-age narrative that is by turns humorous, quirky, and tragic. Stephanie Dickinson offers the reader New York as seen by Dalloway, a precocious and idealistic teenage girl with a fractured, eccentric family in constant metamorphosis. Dickinson's eye for detail and narrative style entice the reader to sit up, look and listen for the next beautifully crazy scene. One of the many characters that stands out is the brazen, redwoodesque Great Aunt Dorna of 'Sonic Ear,' an elderly version of Astrid Lindgren's ultrafeminist Pippi Longstocking with an endless supply not of golden coins from a treasure chest, but of expensive sets of flatware and tableware that she offers, piece by piece, as currency. Dorna is the adult role model Dalloway deserves; together, they take on all those who would usurp or brutalize women on the streets. I am thrilled to see this collection of stories together at last."—Bonnie Ditlevsen

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780985301293
Publisher: Rain Mountain Press
Publication date: 03/01/2013
Pages: 176
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.50(d)

About the Author

Stephanie Dickinson was raised on an Iowa farm and now lives in New York City. Her novels LOVE HIGHWAY (2015) and HALF GIRL (2008), and novella Lust Series are published by Spuyten Duyvil. Her work appears in Hotel Amerika, MUDFISH, Weber Studies, PMS, Nimrod, South Loop Review, Rhino, and Fjords, among others, and her stories have been reprinted in Best American Nonrequired Reading and New Stories from the South. Road of Five Churches and Port Authority Orchids are available from Rain Mountain Press. Heat: An Interview with Jean Seberg was released in October 2013 by New Michigan Press. She is an assistant editor at MUDFISH and along with Rob Cook edits Skidrow Penthouse.

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