Short Story Collection: Girls of a Certain Age
GIRLS OF A CERTAIN AGE is a collection short stories and a novella, written over the past decade. The stories are all narrated by females (ostensibly: a few are written in the second person), echoing themes about loneliness and friendship, sickness and health, sex and relationships, and war as experienced by those left at home. Many of the stories about deeply female issues: abortion, abuse, breast cancer. (Sounds heavy? There's also a lot of fun.)
In "None of These Will Bring Disaster" a young woman loses her job, then takes up smoking so she can join a paid research study about people who want to quit smoking. In "Elegy," a woman who decides to undergo a prophylactic mastectomy grieves not so much the loss of her breasts, but more so women she has lost. In "The Replacements," a woman who dreams of leaving her abusive boyfriend ends up running over his dog. In "Middlemen," a young woman falls in love with her mostly-straight roommate. In "The Portrait," a deaf girl becomes painfully aware of her condition when she gets lost at a museum. In "First Aid, Notes," a cutter imagines she bleeds a different color for every emotion she feels. In "Animals," a young girl grows jealous of a friend whose house overflows with pets and toys. The final straw? A digital pet, the Tamagotchi.
The collection includes fourteen short stories and one novella. A selection of already published pieces appear in this portfolio, while excerpts from the other stories are included in the final document. Stories from the collection have been published or are forthcoming in Indiana Review, The Threepenny Review, The Southeast Review, Bare Fiction, Carolina Quarterly, Michigan Quarterly Review, Cicada, Tin House online, and Epoch. Finished in 2017, the book will be taken to publishers early in the new year.