Theron Estes, upon returning home from a 90-day stint in jail, is dismayed to find his two young daughters home alone and a cryptic note from his wife: "I had enuff its your turn." Thus begins the title story of Helen Norris's new collection, a funny yet pathos-filled tale of Theron's bizarre attempt to secure Christmas dinner for his girls.
Norris is one of the most distinctive voices in contemporary American fiction. Over a lifetime, she has developed a distinctive style and mastered the short-story form. With an impressive range, she invents and inhabits the worlds of a memorable set of characters both young and old, with authority, sharp insight, and great wit. Her wonderful older women, having found that everyone else's reality has nothing to offer them, claim the right to create their own. Troubled young couples mean well but find themselves heading down bewildering paths. Norris's stories are complex, at turns wry and poignant, playful and amusing, haunting and mythical. A few of these stories are traditionally southern in setting and theme, but Norris works well beyond the boundaries of regionalism, writing stories rooted in contemporary concerns and set in imagined places both rural and urban.
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