This extraordinary first collection of short stories covers the
landscape of dysfunctional childhood, urban angst, and human
disconnection with a wit and insight that keep you riveted to the page.
The characters here have rich and imaginative interior lives, but grave
difficulty relating to the outside world. The beginning story,
“Ducklings,” introduces the over-weight and over-enthusiastic Marjorie,
the last twelve-year-old you would want babysitting your toddler. In
“Wanted” we meet Eleanor, a single girl living in Chicago who may or may
not be dating a serial killer. “Another Cancer Story” is an
unsentimental account of two sisters whose beloved mother just won’t
seem to die, and “The Last Dead Boyfriend” gives us a recovering addict
who keeps encountering her recently deceased boyfriend, an unpleasant
man she wished she’d broken up with before he died.
Always funny, often dark, and wholly satisfying, these stories explore
the longing for connection among characters who are frequently stricken
with anxiety. Each story is rendered in a way that is surreal, vivid,
and entirely convincing.
“Wonderful Girl is a smart, funny collection, by turns poignant,
mysterious, terrifying, sexy, often just plain nuts (in a good way!).
The characters in these stories are deliciously confused but always in
control, if not of their fates, at least of their pets and boyfriends.
What strong voices these women have! Contemporary American life has
never seemed so threatening and yet so warm, so full of possibility, yet
so harrowing. Reading Wonderful Girl is like meeting a dozen new
friends, people you instantly fret over, want to know better, want to
call and give advice, bring home to meet your folks, people you
ultimately love.” —Bill Roorbach, judge and author of The Smallest
Color, Big Bend, and Temple Stream