Synopses & Reviews
Fiction. This collection of 13 stories feature characters, especially young women, who redefine their sense of belonging by reconciling with their pasts. Whether it is a plain looking woman winning ungainly notoriety as a lingerie window model, a young figure skater being lured by a stalker, or a daughter examining her mother's accidental death at a horse farm, these stories' protagonists surprise themselves and the reader by finding their places in the world through unpredictable turns. "Walter's first book is a collection of fine and finely unsettling stories"—Kristin Ohlson.
"Veering from cloying melancholy to thrilling suspense, Walter's debut collection (winner of the 2010 G. S. Sharat Chandra Prize for Short Fiction) focuses on the significance of memory and place, the challenges of being an independent woman in the modern world, and struggles with death and grief. Such themes form the bulwark of stories such as 'To Elizabeth Bishop, with Love,' 'The Second Rule of Yoga,' and the title story, in which women come to terms with a cruel world and their ambivalent connections to the past. Unfortunately, the characters prove predictable lonely, afflicted heroines with absent fathers who strive for independence from decreed social roles. When Walter reaches beyond this territory (painfully familiar to any reader of Lorrie Moore), the result is the dazzling, disturbing 'The Ballad Solemn of Lady Malena,' in which a seductive stalker tempts a young figure skating champion to turn against her stifling environment. In the surprising gem 'Live Model,' an unattractive woman poses in the window of a lingerie shop and becomes momentarily famous by capturing the gaze of the world. Despite the prevailing MFA workshop ethos, the collection offers well-crafted, keen entertainment, and some genuinely affecting tales. (Nov.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
About the Author
Laura Maylene Walter is the recipient of many awards, including the 2010 G.S. Sharat Chandra Prize for Short Fiction, as judged by Robert Olen Butler; Ohioana Library Association's Walter Rumsey Marvin grant, awarded annually to an Ohio writer age 30 or under; and Washington College's Sophie Kerr Prize, the nation's largest undergraduate literary award. Her writing has appeared or is forthcoming in Poets and Writers, The Writer, Inkwell, American Literary Review, Ohioana Quarterly, Flyway, Crab Creek Review, South Dakota Review, and elsewhere, and her novel-in-progress, Opal, was named a runner-up in the 2010 James Jones First Novel Fellowship. Most recently, she is the author of LIVING ARRANGEMENTS (BkMk Press, 2011). Laura grew up in Lancaster, PA, and has resided in the Cleveland area since 2004. She works as an editor of a trade magazine and lives with her husband and their two cats in Lakewood, Ohio.