Wonderful Girl

Wonderful Girl

Wonderful Girl

Wonderful Girl

Synopsis

This extraordinary first collection of short stories covers the landscape of dysfunctional childhood, urban angst, and human disconnection with a wit and insight that keep you riveted to the page. The characters here have rich and imaginative interior lives, but grave difficulty relating to the outside world. The beginning story, "Ducklings," introduces the over-weight and over-enthusiastic Marjorie, the last twelve-year-old you would want babysitting your toddler. In "Wanted" we meet Eleanor, a single girl living in Chicago who may or may not be dating a serial killer. "Another Cancer Story" is an unsentimental account of two sisters whose beloved mother just won't seem to die, and "The Last Dead Boyfriend" gives us a recovering addict who keeps encountering her recently deceased boyfriend, an unpleasant man she wished she'd broken up with before he died. Always funny, often dark, and wholly satisfying, these stories explore the longing for connection among characters who are frequently stricken with anxiety. Each story is rendered in a way that is surreal, vivid, and entirely convincing.

Excerpt

Marjorie just loves babies! By the time she is twenty, she is going to have four: two girls and two boys. the girls will be identical twins, but she won’t be the type of mother who makes them wear matching dresses with white pinafores. Marjorie is well aware of the importance of individuality! She will have their eyes checked routinely. If they are anything like her, they’ll need Coke-bottle glasses before they are five years old!

She hangs posters around the neighborhood telephone poles: “Responsible Girl Available for Sitting. Prices may vary.” the last line is especially good, because that way, she can ask for more money, if the parents have three kids of varying ages. It isn’t wise to become enslaved by a stranger.

Marjorie is twelve, but she is not a child. For one thing, instead of Judy Blume young adult novels, she checks out Betty . . .

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