First, Body by Melanie Rae Thon

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In praise of her first story collection, Girls in the Grass, the New York Times wrote, " Melanie Rae Thon belts out her short stories in a tone and style reminiscent of classic blues singers . . . The reader is swept along not only by her remarkable characterizations but also by the taut, magic current of her prose, which carries an exhilarating rhythmic punch. " Thon brings to her new collection all the emotional intensity and vibrant lyricism that marked her first, in stories that are both dazzling and unsettling. In the title story, chosen by Jane Smiley for The Best American Short Stories 1995, a 326-pound woman in a Seattle morgue pins a Vietnam vet to the floor. A young girl in Florida reveals the secret dangers of her privileged life: alligators and furious ducks, a crippled grandfather, a burning car. Taking us from the cobblestoned streets of Boston to a deserted Montana road, Thon's stories transport us to the borderlands, to the places where sudden accidents and misguided pa

About Melanie Rae Thon

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Melanie Rae Thon is the author of the novels "Meteors in August" and "Iona Moon" and the story collections "First, Body" and "Girls in the Grass." Her work has appeared in "Paris Review, Story, Granta, " and "Best American Short Stories." She has received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Mrs. Giles Whiting Foundation. Originally from Montana, she now divides her time between the Pacific Northwest and Salt Lake City, where she teaches at the University of Utah.
Published January 9, 1997 by Houghton Mifflin. 165 pages
Genres: Education & Reference, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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In Montana, another middle-aged woman also experiences a night of terror in ``Father, Lover, Deadman, Dreamer,'' but hers happened 21 years before, when she went seeking thrills on the local Indian reservation, got drunk, then hit and killed another drunk while driving home.

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