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1 Beaverton Literature- A to Z

Nine Simple Patterns for Complicated Women

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Nine Simple Patterns for Complicated Women Cover

ISBN13: 9780982770405
ISBN10: 0982770405
Condition: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

A woman sewing a dress for her anniversary night out finds herself presiding over her young daughters as they cut apart their own clothes. A four-year-old boy going earnestly about the business of being a four-year-old boy is perplexed as to why his behavior seems to have dramatic effects on his mother. An elementary school volunteer learns about a role-playing card game from a young boy, and then sees the roles play out in her own home.

College friends and couples reunite for a drink, and find that although their campus couplings are in the past, their sexual competitions are still very much present.

Over the course of these nine stories, Mary Rechner brings a frank, humorous, and ultimately illuminating narrative voice to the subjects of sex, marriage, family, and work. Her characters strain against expected behaviors and received opinions about emotional life: a grieving woman considers pursuing her dead lover's twin, a master gardener envies the freedom of her widowed friend, a poet considers which of her pieces will work best when read in a strip club, and a patient in the dentist's chair finds her appointment her best chance to reflect on her otherwise hectic life.

Nominated for awards and the recipient of fellowships from organizations on both sides of the country, Mary Rechner's prose leavens moments of despair with moments of humor, and recognizes the knotted relationship between pleasure and pain. The patient, uncompromising work of a writer who has carefully observed the moments of possibility and peril that appear — and that we often deliberately seek — in the journey from youth to adulthood, Nine Simple Patterns for Complicated Women is a debut collection that signals the arrival of a significant new voice in contemporary fiction.

Review:

"Mary Rechner's astounding, perfectly wrought stories of what it means to be a modern woman are witty, provocative, and honest enough to make you gasp. She's the Mary Gaitskill of motherhood." Karen Karbo, author of The Gospel Accroding to Coco Chanel

Review:

"Rechner writes with...the full-hearted knowledge that to love means to be besieged, to love means to suffer, but that, in the end, to love is the only way to truly be alive." Debra Gwartney, author of Live through This

Review:

"Funny, bold, and somewhat rueful, Rechner is a plucky, mischievous writer." Brad Kessler, author of Birds in Fall

About the Author

Mary Rechner's fiction has appeared in publications including Kenyon Review, Washington Square, Propeller Quarterly, and Oregon Literary Review. Her criticism and essays have appeared in the Believer and the Oregonian. Mary Rechner grew up on Long Island, and currently lives in Portland, Oregon.

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tonipoet, April 26, 2014 (view all comments by tonipoet)
Mary Rechner never hits a wrong note in these stories. The cover drew me in, as a good book cover should -- the kind of drawing you might find on an old-fashioned sewing pattern--women with tiny waists and prettily curved ankles. The sewing pattern is a tremendously loaded metaphor -- for the poverty of women who can't afford to buy a finished dress for an anniversary, for the wish to control the events in a life. In the first story, a woman attempts to make a special dress, while all around her chaos unfolds--a suicidal friend sits on the floor smoking, children play with scissors and pins and cut up their pajamas. The disconnect between what people do and say and what they feel is vividly portrayed, for example, in "Invisible," where the protagonist, an actress, decides to "evolve a whole new school of invisible acting" in order to keep "faking it" with Lou, even though "sex with Lou was like stubbing a toe."

Rechner strikes nerve after nerve with beautiful accuracy in Nine Simple Patterns. I'm going to go read it again.


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Product Details

ISBN:
9780982770405
Author:
Rechner, Mary
Publisher:
Propeller Books
Subject:
Literature
Copyright:
Binding:
TRADE PAPER

Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Small Press » Fiction and Prose
Fiction and Poetry » Small Press » Zines

Nine Simple Patterns for Complicated Women Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$7.50 In Stock
Product details pages Propeller Books - English 9780982770405 Reviews:
"Review" by , "Mary Rechner's astounding, perfectly wrought stories of what it means to be a modern woman are witty, provocative, and honest enough to make you gasp. She's the Mary Gaitskill of motherhood."
"Review" by , "Rechner writes with...the full-hearted knowledge that to love means to be besieged, to love means to suffer, but that, in the end, to love is the only way to truly be alive."
"Review" by , "Funny, bold, and somewhat rueful, Rechner is a plucky, mischievous writer."
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