Trouble with Girls by Marshall Boswell
(Shannon Ravenel Books)

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This is about Parker, from Memphis, who is trying to become a man. He's twelve going on thirteen when we first meet him and suffering through an inning of Little League baseball. He's playing right field, in position and praying a ball won't come his way. It's a scene that sets the theme of his young life-he's ready, but he's terrified.

Parker's progress through middle-class life-high school, college, graduate school (he drops out), paying job in the real world (Atlanta at the millennium)-leads him to a lot of alarmingly seductive women who, more often than not, chew him up and spit him out. He hardly wants to admit it, but he has trouble with girls.

Then there's the one who doesn't spit him out-Rachel. In fact, Rachel's the only one he tries to dump. Sort of. He suggests seeing her only on an informal, between things basis, keeping-as far as sex goes-the options open.

Marshall Boswell's wry, beguiling first book is a canny portrait of a prototypical twenty-first century thirty-something American guy who's trying to balance sensitivity with good old-fashioned sensuality while he's on the make. Like a guy's guide to . . . well, hoping and flailing more than hunting and fishing. By the last story, Parker does catch that high hard one, but also comes to understand that it's Rachel, the prototypical twenty-first century thirty-something woman, who gets credit for the score.


About Marshall Boswell

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Marshall Boswell grew up in Memphis and has moved back there to teach American literature at Rhodes College. He received his PhD from Emory University in Atlanta and has published short stories in a range of magazines, from Missouri Review to Playboy.
Published March 21, 2003 by A Shannon Ravenel Book. 320 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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College is viewed only after it’s already over for Parker: trying to recover from a breakup with a woman who’s still enrolled, he jogs endlessly past her apartment and, for money, waits tables.

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Publishers Weekly

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The tales follow perpetually angst-ridden Memphis-born Parker Hayes from his youth in the 1970s and 1980s—catching a rare baseball in right field, weathering abuse from his muscle-bound older brother, trying to be a "punk rock jock" to impress his schoolmates—into his adulthood, where graduate sc...

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