The First Paper Girl in Red Oak, Iowa

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Wednesday, August 31, 2005
by Elizabeth Stuckey-French #31

This is a short story collection by someone from the Iowa Writer's Workshop, which I gather is a big deal since it is mentioned a LOT on the dust jacket. I was unsure at first what to make of this collection. It is covering the same modern-suburban-malaise arena that a lot of people write in - but a lot of people don't write in it very well which sort of brings the whole genre down. Oh, look - another depressed mother of 3 living in Indiana with unfulfilled dreams and a husband who doesn't understand her. BUT, E. S-F is an excellent writer (as I am sure she would be thrilled to be called by a self-indulgent, punctuation-abusing blogger). Despite my reservations I have found myself thinking about at least three of the twelve stories at odd times during the day, so I am going to call it a success. (for me. I am not so deluded as to think that this is an objective measure of success. Would that it were!) I did find myself wondering how Kelly Link would handle similar material, (my guess is more zombies) but that may be because her new book is waiting for me at the library.
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