Fabulous Fiction Firsts #297
In these darkly comic stories, 11 women confront dramas both everyday and outlandish. Isolated by geography, emotion, or circumstance they find no simple escapes. Their acts of faith and acts of imagination in making do are as shrewd as they are surprising.
The first story "Zolaria" in particular hits close to home. Though the title of the collection cautions one that it is not your city, Ann Arborites will recognize landmarks such as Little Sister Lake, Dolph Park, Wagner & Newport roads, Forsythe Junior High,and the gas station at Miller and Maple that stood empty for years. In this story a young mother looks back on the enduring yet troubled bond with a childhood friend and its chilling effect on her relationship with her young daughters.
In "Going to Estonia," Ursula's desire for a relationship leads her into an unusual involvement with her Helsinki neighbor.
In the titular story, Daria, a mail-order bride struggles with the barricades of culture and family after her teenage daughter goes missing.
"Many of the stories are bleak, painfully and realistically detailing lives gone awry, to sometimes disturbing effect" but they never fail to offer earnest and compelling perspectives.
A note about the author... (Visit her website)
Caitlin Horrocks lives in Michigan by way of Ohio, Arizona, England, Finland, and the Czech Republic. Her stories and essays appear in The Best American Short Stories, The PEN/O. Henry Prize Stories, The Pushcart Prize , The Paris Review, among others. Her work has won awards including the Plimpton Prize, and a Bread Loaf Writers Conference Fellowship. Currently, she is an assistant professor of writing at Grand Valley State University. She lives in Grand Rapids, Michigan, with the writer W. Todd Kaneko.
* = Starred review