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Jewelry Box: A Collection of Histories (American Readers #21)by Aurelie Sheehan
Synopses & Reviews
The sixty-eight short works in this collection (some only a paragraph, others a few pages) straddle memoir and fiction, exploring the nuances of sexuality, motherhood, love, and ambition. Like Lydia Davis, Aurelie Sheehan's stories are potent miniatures that blossom out from seemingly insignificant encounters and objects. Jewelry Box is a collection of intimate renderings of the life that surrounds us, just under the surface.
"Sheehan's (History Lessons for Girls) collection of 58 short stories features 'histories' somewhere between flash fiction and prose poems and memoirs. Sheehan uses small moments and objects that capture the essences of larger personal histories — lives made up of motherhood, writing, love, friendships, and everything in between. In 'Density,' she makes a much-put-off telephone call to her great-aunt. The smallest gesture of sisterly tenderness is depicted in 'Devotion.' In 'Suntan Lotion,' a teenage girl lays on the beach with her new love interest. A young writer has dinner with her mentor and marvels at a dessert chef's ability to deliver a punchline in 'Joke.' Rather than getting ensconced in the heavy drape of narrative, these short flares of memory allow the reader to enter Sheehan's memories as they are in her mind — a jumble of moments, people, objects, and sounds as they exist before analysis and ordering." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Straddling memoir and fiction, these sixty-eight short works explore the nuances of sexuality, motherhood, love, ambition, and personal history.
About the Author
Aurelie Sheehan is the author of two novels, History Lesson for Girls (Viking Penguin, 2006) and The Anxiety of Everyday Objects (Penguin Books, 2004), as well as a short story collection, Jack Kerouac Is Pregnant (Dalkey Archive Press, 1994). Her work has been widely published in venues including Alaska Quarterly, Conjunctions, Epoch, Fairy Tale Review, Fence, New England Review, The New York Times, Ploughshares, and The Southern Review. She has received a Pushcart Prize, a Camargo Fellowship, the Jack Kerouac Literary Award, and an Artists Projects Award from the Arizona Commission on the Arts. Sheehan teaches in the MFA program at the University of Arizona in Tucson, where she lives with her husband and daughter.
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