Trailer Girl by Terese Svoboda
and Other Stories

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Synopsis

In piercing, unprettified prose, Terese Svoboda navigates the terrain of alienation and loss "I talk like a lady who knows what she wants" is how the vagrant begins her story in "Trailer Girl." As she struggles to rescue what she says is a wild girl hiding in the gully, the neighbors become more certain than ever that the child is imaginary-until there's a murder. Stark and disturbing, "Trailer Girl" is the story of cycles of child abuse and the dream to escape them. In "Psychic," a clairvoyant knows she's been hired by a murderer, in "Leadership" a tiny spaceship lands between a boy and his parents, in "Venice," a woman performs the Heimlich maneuver on an ex-husband, then flees by gondola, and in "White," a grandfather explains to his grandson how a family is like a collection of chicken parts. Frequently violent, always passionate, these often short short stories are full-strength, as strong and precise as poetry.
 

About Terese Svoboda

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A native of Nebraska, Terese Svoboda lived for a year in Sudan, making documentary films and translating. She now divides her time between New York and Hawaii.
 
Published February 1, 2001 by Counterpoint. 240 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Trailer Girl

Kirkus Reviews

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Yet at some moments the power of real life does rise up out of Svoboda's words, as in "Petrified Woman," about a mother tyrannizing her grown daughter, or "Party Girl," a pitch-perfect rendering of teenaged girls at a slumber party.

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Publishers Weekly

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In the title novella of this collection of 14 otherwise short-short stories, Svoboda (Cannibal) tells the tale of a nameless woman, a survivor of foster homes and abuse.

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Book Reporter

But each time, without fail, she is true to her poetic calling and wipes away the initial cloudiness of the story's slate, revealing disturbing truths whose images will insinuate themselves during our real lives --- as we order a cappuccino at a coffee shop or step into our orderly, secure homes ...

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Pank Magazine

In the poem “Secret Executions of Black GIs in Occupied Japan,” the image of a noose is treated metaphorically when Svoboda writes, “– the baby’s O / mouth spread for egg.” The poem ends with the lines “We wear the mask of the guy who did it– / the present,” and finally, the idea of the noos...

Nov 17 2009 | Read Full Review of Trailer Girl: and Other Stories

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