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275 pages, Hardcover
Published May 14, 2019
Even as a girl, Rae was a terrible negotiator. She gave anybody anything they asked of her. She owed the world; the world owned her. She never felt that she could simply take up space; no, one had to earn one’s keep here on planet Earth. As a kid, Rae’s body soundlessly absorbed the painful things that happened to it, and not even an echo of certain events escaped her lips. Sometimes she thought the problem (the gift, she’d once believed) was anatomical; she didn’t seem to have a gag reflex, so none of the secret stuff—the gushy black awful stuff—ever came out. Now it lives inside her, liquefying. Inadmissible, indigestible event. Is that what the devil is drinking?
ABNORMAL RESULT. HIGH RISK. CLINICAL OUTCOME UNKNOWN.
—"Orange World," p.235
"Turn-of-the-century sash windows," we'd discovered, meant "pneumonia holes."—and—
—"The Prospectors," p.4
I felt a pang: I could see both that she was afraid of my proposal and that she could be persuaded. This is a terrible knowledge to possess about a friend.
—"The Prospectors," p.5
These days anybody with sense farms winds.If I had to pick a favorite from among these stories, it'd be this one. I imagined it being read aloud, in the gravelly voice of an old man who's seen too many storms come and go.
—"The Tornado Auction," p.117
The rumor has moved into the tower of fact. Of history. It does not want to be evicted.
—"Black Corfu," p.187
The lesson was this: You fit yourself to your circumstances. Wrapped your wings tightly around your skin and settled into your niche. Go smooth, stay flat. Do your breathing in the shadows. Grow even slightly wider, or wilder, and you risk turning your home into your tomb.
—"Black Corfu," p.166
Writing that survives the bodies that produced it is always haunted, I guess.
—"The Gondoliers," p.202
"We mothers of Southeast Portland cannot entertain this devil any longer!"
—"Orange World," pp.260-261