Super America

Anne Panning, Author . Univ. of Georgia $24.95 (232p) ISBN 978-0-8203-2996-3

Ordinary people find their efforts to heal their wounds complicated by relationships, emotional conflicts and unusual twists of fate in this affecting collection by Panning (The Price of Eggs ). In “Tidal Wave Wedding” a gay man helps newlyweds search Waikiki beach for a lost wedding ring, with consequences that reverberate in his own relationship. Another story features a postal worker, recently disabled after a pit bull attacked her, who attempts to reclaim the affections of her husband by using her lawsuit winnings to finance his and her sister’s idea to open a frog leg restaurant. In the title story, a theater major copes with his divorced father’s circus-like antics as he deploys a miniature horse and a lemur to win back his ex-wife. In “Five Reasons I Miss the Laundromat,” a woman reminisces about the people she has encountered while doing the laundry—like the midget who curled up and fell asleep in a dryer. Other tales deal in the fall out of freak accidents, as occurs in the novella, “Freeze,” which dissects the impact of a bike accident on a couple’s already rocky marriage. The warmth and originality of these pieces demonstrate Panning to be an astute and empathetic observer. (Oct.)

Reviewed on: 07/16/2007
Release date: 10/01/2007
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