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My work can be found in REAL: Regarding Arts and Letters, The Jabberwock Review, The Emerson Review, Storyglossia, The MacGuffin, Confrontation, Passages North, SmokeLong Quarterly, elimae, wigleaf, Pank, New Delta Review, and Gargoyle #57, among others. One of my stories has been translated into Farsi by Asadollah Amraee, and many others by Jalil Jafari, two of which have been published in the Iranian journal, Golestaneh Magazine. Currently, I'm an Associate editor for Narrative Magazine. In 2011, I was awarded the Carol Houck Smith Contributor Scholarship for the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference.

Friday, September 22, 2006

"Winter's Bone" by Daniel Woodrell

One of the most important things I can tell you about this book is it's a must-read. An absolute must-read.

Ree Dolly is a young woman whose life is harsh beyond imagining. She lives in the Ozark mountains, in an area populated by Dollys, a clan of law-breaking, crank-cooking, tough-spirited people living in poverty. Her house is shared by her mentally-broken mother, Ree's two younger brothers and her father--except her father's disappeared and left her alone to fend for the family. Ree must find her father and bring him back by a set date or they will lose their home, their land, everything.

Woodrell's language is clear, poetic, take-your-breath-away gorgeous. Ree Dolly is a heroine of the kind not often seen in modern-day fiction.

From the opening paragraph you'll be swept right into Ree Dolly's world and not want to come out:

"Ree Dolly stood at the break of day on her cold front steps and smelled coming flurries and saw meat. Meat hung from trees across the creek. The carcasses hung pale of flesh with a fatty gleam from low limbs of saplings in the side yards. Three halt haggard houses formed a kneeling rank on the far creekside and each had two or more skinned torsos dangling by rope from sagged limbs, venison left to the weather for two nights and three days so the early blossoming of decay might round the flavor, sweeten the meat to the bone."

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