Inspired with the essence of Mary Hood's native South and spiced with intrigue and the dark side of human nature, this collection of stories offers the drama, humor, and heartache of everyday life and unexpected tragedy - with more than a few twists. The stories cover the terrain of transition between old and new, history and the present, holding on and letting go. In Finding the Chain, Cliffie struggles to overcome her ties to the past and forge a beginning with her newly formed family. Moths shows how one man's fortitude, friends, and love of nature help him see his life of poverty in a new light. In the title novella, Delia struggles to overcome her fears of separation and abandonment in the face of her father's suicide. With characters, situations, and settings that capture the turmoil of lives - and of a region - caught in transition between the past and present, the stories of And Venus Is Blue portray both the uncompromising harshness of life and the power of human tenacity.
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(216mm x 133mm x 22mm)
University of Georgia Press
Publisher: University of Georgia Press
Country of Publication:
US Kirkus Review »
Seven stories plus the title novella (the weakest thing here - a Southern girl's growing-up with distance and death; too impressionistic and abrupt to fully command narrative trust) - that fortify the strengths Hood first displayed in her previous collection, How Far She Went (1984). A brusque and telling way with summary stands out as Hood's hallmark. In the best stories here - "Desire Call of the Wild Hen" and "After Moore" - she can, for instance, convincingly pack a year of marriage into a paragraph; by the end of the story, we have two or more lives completely encapsulated: "They had a good year, and built on a paneled room for his hunting trophies. His business didn't fail until the third year. They sold the ski boat, the Hobie, her car, the trail bikes, the pontoon, the camper, and his pool table. It wasn't enough. They dropped out of their clubs and he went back to work for his father, a ten-hour day, plus the grinding commute, and only two weeks vacation a year." What saves this technique from becoming too journalistic is Hood's syncopatedly rhythmic prose, more controlled now than in her debut volume: "Later, at the yacht club, she kept on till she got wild drunk. It was the first time Larry had seen her like that, haggardly vivacious. She never did eat right, worried she'd lose her lure. She had dieted right down to her nerves on Herbalife, and was so loose in her jewelry she danced out of her wedding ring. . ." All in all: though a lot of the stories seem the same - as do the women in them - Hood shows continuing appeal and brightness, more perhaps as a chronicle- than a character-maker. (Kirkus Reviews)
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Author Biography - Mary Hood
Mary Hood is also the author of Familiar Heat and How Far She Went (Georgia), a winner of the Flannery O'Connor Award for Short Fiction.