Black Glass: Short Fictions
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
An early work from PEN/Faulkner Award winner and Man Booker finalist Karen Joy Fowler, reissued and beautifully repackaged for new fans and old.
First published in 1998 to high praise, and now reissued with the addition of a prefatory essay, Black Glass showcases the extraordinary talents of this prizewinning author. In fifteen gemlike tales, Fowler lets her wit and vision roam freely, turning accepted norms inside out and fairy tales upside down—pushing us to reconsider our unquestioned verities and proving once again that she is among our most subversive writers.
So, then: Here is Carry Nation loose again, breaking up discos, smashing topless bars, radicalizing women as she preaches clean living to men more intent on babes and booze. And here is Mrs. Gulliver, her patience with her long-voyaging Lemuel worn thin: Money is short and the kids can’t even remember what their dad looks like. And what of Tonto, the ever-faithful companion, turning forty without so much as a birthday phone call from that masked man?
It is a book full of great themes and terrific stories—but it is the way in which Fowler tells the tale, develops plot and character, plays with time, chance, and reality that makes these pieces so original.
willing to bet she’ll eat the cherry. The dosage will be guesswork, and someone will have to take it to her. Of course, I’m volunteering.” “No hallucinogenics,” Harris’s superior said. Harris’s mind was filled with cherries. He had to blink to clear it. “I don’t understand. We’re just trying to persuade the loa to abandon the host body.” “You summoned a weapon. This weapon served us at the Vatican embassy. It’s a useful weapon. We don’t want it destroyed.” “You don’t understand,” Harris said.
free. It took three tries and the awesome properties of the lever to move the uppermost video game. Harris tried not to remember how the loa had picked it up off the floor with her hands. He retrieved his gun and went hunting. She was coy now, ducking away from him, so that he only caught glimpses of her through the watery branches of liquor. A sound here and there indicated that she had stopped to smash a wooden keg or pound the cash register. Harris himself was stealthy, timing each footfall
“Patrick.” Harris’s wife was touching his arm. She shook it a little. “Patrick? He’s worried about you. He thinks you may have a drinking problem.” Harris opened his eyes and saw things with a glassy, weary clarity. Behind his wife was the Oprah show, her favorite. No wonder he hadn’t noticed the television was on. Harris’s mind was moving far too fast for television. Harris’s mind was moving far too fast for him to be able to follow what his wife was saying. He had to force his mind back,
two women are laughing. “So he doesn’t have a condom,” one says. “‘I figured you’d be on the pill,’ he tells me and I say, ‘Listen, bucko, we have a saying among my people—the person who plans the party should bring the beer.’ ‘Your people?’ he asks and I say, ‘Yeah, my people. You know. Women.’” The second woman’s voice is soft and throaty. “Probably just never heard women called people before,” she offers. Farther from her, Linda hears someone suggesting a party game. Everyone is to lie down
couldn’t swallow either. She set it down again, shaking her head. Some of the wine splashed over the lip and onto her hand. “He’s already married,” the woman said. Alison nodded, wiping her hand on her pant leg. “God.” She searched in her pockets for a Kleenex. The woman handed her the napkin from beneath the empty glass. Alison wiped her nose with it and the cherry stem fell out. She did not dare look up. She kept her eyes focused on the napkin in her hand, which she folded into four small