Briefly Knocked Unconscious By A Low-Flying Duck: Stories from 2nd Story

Edited by Megan Stielstra and Andrew Reilly. Elephant Rock (IPG, dist.), $20 trade paper (248p) ISBN 978-0-9846700-6-2
"We drove around Evanston, Illinois in Lisa's Toyota RAV4 with Xena sitting in the back seat. We pulled into an empty Dominick's parking lot, hot-boxed the RAV4, and blew smoke in Xena's face." This is just one of many memorable moments to come from this collection of 23 essays by members of the 2nd Story Group in Chicago. The book is filled with laugh-out-loud gags and witty anecdotes, not to mention heartbreak that's often underplayed, yet still impossible to miss. One need only look as far as the stories' titles to get a sense of this anthology's unique flavor. There's Byron Flitsch's "Dirty Dancing," Molly Each's "A Prostitute Comparison," the aforementioned "Xena: Cardboard Princess" by Sara Kerastas, and Patricia Ann McNair's heartfelt closing piece "Return Trip." The stories are endlessly relatable and their tellers are true masters of the craft, able to make you laugh, make you cry, and make you want to do it all over again once you've finished. This collection will demand, and receive, return trips from its readers. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 02/18/2013
Release date: 11/01/2012
Genre: Nonfiction
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