Saturday, January 31, 2009

On "Going Away Shoes" by Jill McCorkle (7103 words) ***

I've known of Jill McCorkle for years, but this is the first time I've ever managed to get around to reading something of hers. Here is a polished and professional writer if there ever is one. I love how McCorkle weaves this story around a few key phrases ("pull it"), around soap operas, around family and race. But most of all what I like about this story is how we get a portrait of a woman trapped by duty and obligation. The pacing of this story is sometimes slow, like those summer days when I was a kid at home, watching my own mom clean or wash clothes, while my sister and I sat around watching television game shows, or worse, soap operas, just waiting for the day to end, for something more interesting to come along--I imagine Debby Tyson, this story's main character, would understand. Read the story here at Blackbird.

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