In “If You Must Know,” a young woman serves as host to a cicada and tries to recreate the bliss of her first sexual experience, the very moment when the insect chose to burrow into her. “Pearl in a Pocket” is the story of young teen Vyla—one of thirteen sisters, some living, more miscarried—who discovers how powerless love can be. “So There,” a 15-year old girl recalls the rhythm of nights her father swung her around the Black Diamond Lounge while her mother stole dances with anyone and everyone else.
The girls and women of these stories stand at the edge of rebirth undeniably aware that who they are—their shape, their class, their family, their brand of love or crazy—makes them far more complicated than the world will allow. They are brave and terrified, isolated and enveloped; they are dead and bleed to live. And all seem to stand with hands on hips, defiant in that knowledge, even perhaps eating it up.
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Published by Stephen F. Austin University Press