Final Vinyl Days: And Other Stories

Jill McCorkle, Author
Jill McCorkle, Author Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill $18.95 (224p) ISBN 978-1-56512-204-8
Prebound-Other - 978-0-613-21538-1
Open Ebook - 225 pages - 978-1-56512-734-0
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Whether she's telling the story of a woman who throws funerals for people before they're dead or of a music-store employee who can't reconcile himself to the fact that records are extinct, McCorkle (Carolina Moon) manages to make the reader feel like an old friend sitting with her around the kitchen table gossiping about the neighbors. This collection of nine stories is chock full of New South eccentrics, comic moments and perplexing situations. McCorkle's characters grapple with failed romances, temptation and deathbed injunctions. In ""Your Husband Is Cheating on Us,"" a disgruntled mistress confronts her lover's wife to tell her that her spouse is now double-crossing both of them with a floozy who works at Blockbuster. The mistress confesses that she's not the type of person ""who could like have one cookie at a time."" Her rant is a hilarious monologue; like most of these tales, it has a vaguely tragic undertone as well. McCorkle's account of a minister longing for true love in ""The Anatomy of Man"" is especially touching, particularly when he reveals a fantasy in which a woman in the congregation, wearing a white bikini and red toenail polish, steps into the baptismal font with him. ""Surely everyone has a fantasy,"" he muses. At their funniest and most poignant, McCorkle's stories plunge into her characters' souls and mine the truths about them they themselves can't admit and can't help revealing. (June)
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