The Source of Trouble: Stories

Debra Monroe, Author University of Georgia Press $19.95 (164p) ISBN 978-0-8203-1246-0
Trouble is usually a woman in the 10 stories that comprise this year's winner of the Flannery O'Connor Award for Short Fiction. One memorable character, Candy Fae Caine (``A Pious Wish''), analyzes her own situation: ``The source of trouble . . . the incident I zero down to as having begun this irrevocable, claptrap mess was making love to Dew Cooper when the urge for him wasn't irresistible, as it sometimes has been in my past, a hurricane whirling toward an abyss.'' Her situation neatly mirrors that of other characters, women and their men who live in the plains towns of the Midwest, or frequent bars and roadhouses in the South, and behave like the faithless couplers of country-western songs. In ``My Sister Had Seven Husbands,'' Nadine's life in a trailer park, with ever-increasing numbers of children and a philandering spouse, seems to her relatively bearable (``Orderly things are wild on the inside'') when contrasted with that of her many-times-married sister. Though the voices in these terse but witty tales tend to sound alike, one is diverted by these self-revealing characters who unfold their make-do philosophies of life. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 10/31/1990
Release date: 11/01/1990
Paperback - 176 pages - 978-0-671-89716-1
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