How Far She Went by Mary Hood
(Flannery O'Connor Award for Short Fiction)

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Synopsis

Mary Hood's fictional world is a world where fear, anger, longing—sometimes worse—lie just below the surface of a pleasant summer afternoon or a Sunday church service.

In "A Country Girl," for example, she creates an idyllic valley where a barefoot girl sings melodies "low and private as a lullaby" and where "you could pick up one of the little early apples from the ground and eat it right then without worrying about pesticide." But something changes this summer afternoon with the arrival at a family reunion of fair and fiery Johnny Calhoun: "everybody's kind and nobody's kin," forty in a year or so, "and wild in the way that made him worth the trouble he caused."

The title story in the collection begins with a visit to clean the graves in a country cemetery and ends with the terrifying pursuit of a young girl and her grandmother by two bikers, one of whom "had the invading sort of eyes the woman had spent her lifetime bolting doors against."

In the story "Inexorable Process" we see the relentless desperation of Angelina, "who hated many things, but Sundays most of all," and in "Solomon's Seal" the ancient anger of the mountain woman who has crowded her husband out of her life and her heart, until the plants she has tended in her rage fill the half-acre. "The madder she got, the greener everything grew."

 

About Mary Hood

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Mary Hood is the author of Familiar Heat, And Venus is Blue, and How Far She Went (Georgia), a winner of the Flannery O'Connor Award for Short Fiction. Her work has been published in the Georgia Review, North American Review, and Yankee, among other publications.
 
Published July 13, 2011 by University of Georgia Press. 140 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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Hood, co-winner of the Flannery Acinar Award for Short Fiction this year (see Chemin, above), shines brightest with ""Inexorable Progress""--an urban story of a Southern Republican woman's last desperate days, filled with futile attempts at usefulness, sense, and identity.

Oct 01 1984 | Read Full Review of How Far She Went (Flannery O'...

Publishers Weekly

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Hood's nine stories of small-town Georgia won the Flannery O'Connor Award for Short Fiction and the 1984 Southern Review /Louisiana State University Short Fiction Award. (Apr.)

Mar 30 1992 | Read Full Review of How Far She Went (Flannery O'...

Publishers Weekly

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Hood's nine stories of small-town Georgia won the Flannery O'Connor Award for Short Fiction and the 1984 Southern Review /Louisiana State University Short Fiction Award.

| Read Full Review of How Far She Went (Flannery O'...

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