On Sale: February 12, 2019
Hardcover / e-Book
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An intimate, sparkling collection of stories by a debut
writer about girls behaving badly and families on the brink
In these lucid, sharply observant stories, Mandeliene Smith
traces the lives of men and women in moments of crisis: a
woman whose husband has just died, a social worker
struggling to escape his own past, a girl caught in a
standoff between her mother’s boyfriend and the police. A
lively and insightful collection, Rutting Season is
dark, humorous, and moving, filled with complex characters
who immediately demand our interest and attention.
In “What it Takes,” a teenage girl navigates race and class
as the school’s pot dealer. “The Someday Cat” follows a
small girl terrified of being given away by her neglectful
mother. “Three Views of a Pond” is a meditation on the
healing time brings for a college student considering
suicide. And in “Animals,” a child wrestles with the
contradictions inherent in her family’s relationship with
the farm animals they both care for and kill.
In barnyards, office buildings, and dilapidated houses,
Smith’s characters fight for happiness and survival, and the
choices they make reveal the power of instinct to save or
destroy. Whether she’s writing about wives struggling with
love, teenage girls resisting authority, or men and women
reeling from loss, Smith illuminates her characters with
pointed, gorgeous language and searing insight. Rutting
Season is an unforgettable, unmissable collection from
an exciting new voice in fiction.
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