Note: Survey results. Some of you may remember that about a year ago, I had a link up to a survey created by Ariel of One Little Library. If you are interested in viewing the results of the survey, she has now posted them on her web site.
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Elizabeth McCracken’s stories combine a minute observation of ordinary life with a sensibility that is just a little perverse. Not very perverse, like the stories of Margaret Atwood or Karen Russell, but just a little. People disappear, someone down the street is murdered, a boy is almost starved to death by his grandfather—things that do happen but are unusual.
In “Something Amazing,” Missy Goodby, a girl who died of lymphoma, is said to haunt the neighborhood, but it is Santos Mackers who disappears after locking his little brother Johnny up in a trunk. Once Johnny gets free, the Goodbys are happy to care for him.
In “Property,” a recently widowed man leases a house sight unseen for his return to the States after his wife’s death. When he arrives, he finds the house filthy and full of trash. It takes some time for him to learn a different perspective about the house.
A woman who records novelty songs finds out more than she wanted to know about her audience in “Some Terpsichore.” The library employees see the effect both on the friends of a murdered woman and on the accused boy’s family in “Juliet.”
These stories are beautifully written with vivid imagery. I enjoyed this collection very much.