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Out of the Girls' Room and Into the Night (John Simmons Short Fiction Award)by Thisbe Nissen
Synopses & Reviews
Out of the Girls' Room and into the Night is a spirited, offbeat collection of stories, elongated riffs on that thing we call …love. All manner of love stories: thwarted love stories, imaginary love stories, love stories offhand and obsessive, philosophical love stories, erudite and amusing love stories.
“People don't meet because they both like Burmese food,” says one character, “or because someone's sister has a friend who's single and new in town, or because Billy's nose happened to crook just slightly to the left at an angle that made me want to weep…People don't fall in love with each other …they just fall into love.”
Everyone does it: women of fierce independence, men of thin character, rambling Deadheads, gay teenage girls, despondent Peace Corps volunteers, anorexic Broadway theatre dancers, the eager, the grieving, the uncommunicative. Even the confused do it. And they don't just fall in love with each other—they fall in love with certain moments and familiar places, with things as ephemeral as gestures and as evanescent as sunlight.
Quirky, real, idealistic, deluded, bohemian, and true, these are people who can—and often do—fall in love with a pair of ears, August afternoons, saucers of vitamins, New Age carpenters, and dead bumblebees. And if there's something they can teach us, it's how to conceive of alternative worlds and the terror and the exhilaration of venturing outside the confines of the lives we know and making our way into a dark, glittering unknown.
Table of Contents
The mushroom girl — At the No.1 Phoenix Garden — Apple pie — When the rain washes you clean you'll know — The rather unlikely courtship of Edwin Anderson and Roz Rosenzweig — Grover, king of Nebraska — 29th Street playground, September 1968 — What safety is — Way back when in the now before now — Fundamentals of communication — Flowers in the dustbin, poison in the human machine — Mailing incorrectly — 3 1/2 x 5 — 819 Walnut — Accidental love — How beautifully resilient the human being — Jono, an elegy — The girl at Chichen Itza — The Estate — A bungalow, Koh Tao — Grog --After twenty-five years, at the Palais Royale — Think about if you want — The animal's best interest — Out of the girls' room and into the night.
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