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Jones was my first creative writing teacher, and she is part of the reason I'm a writer today. Not because of her teaching (though it was excellent), but because when she gave a reading at the end of the course, her writing was so electric, so honest and haunting, so lovelorn and hopeful, that I decided that THIS was what I wanted to do. I asked for the full story after the reading, which is actually the story “Upright Man” in this book. Set in small-town Kentucky, these stories explore what happens when the mundane is horrifically altered. A father faces his 19-year-old son’s rape accusation; a basketball coach falls in love with his teenaged player; a woman mourns her daughter while her husband moves on. A stunning collection.— From Lillian
“This collection of eight stories, loosely linked by location, examines the pains and the losses of everyday existence, the consequences of bad decisions, and the ambiguities that make these decisions so difficult. Jones shows readers whole lifetimes in stories that are ultimately both humane and powerful.”
— Margaret Brennan Neville, The King's English, Salt Lake City, UT
In Girl Trouble, acclaimed writer Holly Goddard Jones examines small-town Southerners aching to be good, even as they live in doubt about what goodness is.
A high school basketball coach learns that his star player is pregnant--with his child. A lonely woman refIects on her failed marriage and the single act of violence, years buried, that brought about its destruction. In these eight beautifully written, achingly poignant, and occasionally heartbreaking stories, the fine line between right and wrong, good and bad, love and violence is walked over and over again.
In "Good Girl," a depressed widower is forced to decide between the love of a good woman and the love of his own deeply flawed son. In another part of town and another time, thirteen-year-old Ellen, the central figure of "Theory of Realty," is discovering the menaces of being "at that age": too old for the dolls of her girlhood, too young to understand the weaknesses of the adults who surround her. The linked stories "Parts" and "Proof of God" offer distinct but equally correct versions of a brutal crime--one from the perspective of the victim's mother, one from the killer's.
Holly Goddard Jones's stories have appeared in New Stories from the South, Best American Mystery Stories, and various literary journals. She is an assistant professor at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and the winner of a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers' Award.