An American missionary sleeps on the dung floor in a witch doctor's hut in South Africa. Two women contemplate "poverty porn" while trying to start a nonprofit in China. An heiress locks eyes with a whore on the streets of Cape Town. A college girl stalks Mickey Rourke. A professor from New Jersey gets scammed in Old Havana before Castro's demise. A mom obsesses about the fate of Sesame Street characters. A study abroad student goes home with a Russian street artist. Backpackers question their global idealism. Terrain, both ordinary and extraordinary, works on the imaginations and perceptions of people on the run, freaks in the making, eccentrics by choice.The short stories in this collection explore, both implicitly and explicitly, the notion of freakiness. They worry over eccentricity, alienation, normalcy, and intimacy. What is it that makes one a freak, makes one want to embrace quirkiness, have the fortitude to cultivate oddity? Is there a fine line between abnormality and the extraordinary?
Jennifer Spiegel is the author of The Freak Chronicles (short stories) and Love Slave (a novel). She also blogs at "Bosco's Going Down," and she's half of Snotty Literati with Lara Smith. She lives in Arizona with her husband and two kids. She reads a lot, tries to buy mostly organic food, and drinks strong coffee with cream. Visit her at jenniferspiegel.com.
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Published July 24, 2012
by Dzanc Books.
Literature & Fiction.