Jill McCorkle's new collection of twelve short stories is peopled with characters brilliantly like us-flawed, clueless, endearing. These stories are also animaled with all manner of mammal, bird, fish, reptile-also flawed and endearing. She asks, what don't humans share with the so-called lesser species? Looking for the answer, she takes us back to her fictional home town of Fulton, North Carolina, to meet a broad range of characters facing up to the double-edged sword life offers hominids. The insight with which McCorkle tells their stories crackles with wit, but also with a deeper-and more forgiving-wisdom than ever before. In Billy Goats, Fulton's herd of seventh graders cruises the summer nights, peeking into parked cars, maddening the town madman. In Monkeys, a widow holds her husband's beloved spider monkey close along with his deepest secrets. In Dogs, a single mother who works for a veterinarian compares him-unfavorably-with his patients. In Snakes, a seasoned wife sees what might have been a snake in the grass and decides to step over it. And, in the exquisite final story, Fish, a grieving daughter remembers her father's empathy for the ugliest of all fishes. The success behind Jill McCorkle's short stories-and her novels-is, as one reviewer noted, her skill as an archaeologist of the absurd, an expert at excavating and examining the comedy of daily life (Richmond Times-Dispatch). Yes, and also the tragedy.
"With dark humor that effervesces, these stories take as their overt theme the animalness of human behavior."
"Creatures of Habit is what coming home should be but so seldom is--comforting, clarifying and irresistible.... Bet you can't read just one."
"Arguably the equal of the best of Eudora Welty, Truman Capote, or Flannery O'Connor."
Series: Shannon Ravenel Books (Paperback)
Number Of Pages: 256
Published: 28th March 2003
Publisher: Shannon Ravenel Books
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 17.9 x 12.7 x 2.0
Weight (kg): 0.23