Going Away Shoes: Stories

Jill McCorkle, Author . Algonquin $22.95 (258p) ISBN 978-1-56512-632-9

A lack of narrative distance and interchangeable protagonists sink McCorkle's latest short story collection. The constant barbs aimed at the siblings and the cold-hearted, overmedicated mothers of the parade of ubiquitously decent and forlorn heroines in “Another Dimension,” “Going Away Shoes” and “Happy Accidents” reveal little about either the abusers or the so-called victims. Most of McCorkle's analogies and insights into human nature come from television shows and feel one note, such as when a character in “Another Dimension” owns Manolos in order to be like Sarah Jessica Parker. Too many of the protagonists are motivated by identical feelings of self-pitying vindictiveness. There is Ann in “Another Dimension,” whose relationship has soured with her abusive and manipulative brother, Jimmy, as well as Debby in “Going Away Shoes,” who sacrificed her career to care for a dying mother and spoiled siblings. McCorkle (Creatures of Habit ) does manage a few heartfelt descriptions, but the pervasive venom too soon becomes toxic. (Sept.)

Reviewed on: 07/27/2009
Release date: 09/01/2009
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Open Ebook - 278 pages - 978-1-61620-028-2
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