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C M Mayo

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Category: 

Literary Fiction

Publisher:  University of Georgia Press ISBN-10:  0820321192 Type: 
Pages: 

176

Copyright:  April 1, 19999 ISBN-13:  9780820321196
Fiction

A collection or 13 short stories. These stories are set all over the globe, but are mostly set in Mexico, particularly the wealthy enclaves of Mexico City.

Amazon
C M Mayo

In this short-story collection, distinguished by intriguingly elliptical story lines and coolly precise prose, Mayo makes a remarkable literary debut. The author sets her stories all over the globe, but she favors Mexico, particularly the wealthier enclaves of Mexico City. Most of the 13 stories here follow the same template a glimpse of a life thrown out of balance, followed by an ambiguous conclusion and combine sympathy with critical reserve. A Mexican art student escorts his Japanese girlfriend (swathed in Moschino, daubed with Chanel, held blithely aloft with hallucinogens) through the Yucatan; a poet drunkenly toys with the sinewy, menacing pet jaguarundi of her former mistress. Elsewhere, a matron at a wedding dives after a drowning child in a gesture poised between self-sacrifice and suicidal despair; and, in the companion stories that open and close the book, a businessman exhausted by the glitzy, hollow lives he and his cold, lovely wife lead reaches out to a homeless man with AIDS on a Manhattan sidewalk. The stories hold bathos at bay with tautly fashioned prose, alive with myriad turns of phrase as on-target as they are idiosyncratic: a bibulous housewife's face resembles "a boiled tomato"; to Albert, lovely Eiko's laugh is "like a piccolo"; a woman's braids "writhe on her back like snakes." Deservedly, Mayo's collection has won the Flannery O'Connor Award for Short Fiction.


Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.




Professional Reviews

From Publishers Weekly
In this short-story collection, distinguished by intriguingly elliptical story lines and coolly precise prose, Mayo makes a remarkable literary debut. The author sets her stories all over the globe, but she favors Mexico, particularly the wealthier enclaves of Mexico City. Most of the 13 stories here follow the same template?a glimpse of a life thrown out of balance, followed by an ambiguous conclusion?and combine sympathy with critical reserve. A Mexican art student escorts his Japanese girlfriend (swathed in Moschino, daubed with Chanel, held blithely aloft with hallucinogens) through the Yucatan; a poet drunkenly toys with the sinewy, menacing pet jaguarundi of her former mistress. Elsewhere, a matron at a wedding dives after a drowning child in a gesture poised between self-sacrifice and suicidal despair; and, in the companion stories that open and close the book, a businessman?exhausted by the glitzy, hollow lives he and his cold, lovely wife lead?reaches out to a homeless man with AIDS on a Manhattan sidewalk. The stories hold bathos at bay with tautly fashioned prose, alive with myriad turns of phrase as on-target as they are idiosyncratic: a bibulous housewife's face resembles "a boiled tomato"; to Albert, lovely Eiko's laugh is "like a piccolo"; a woman's braids "writhe on her back like snakes." Deservedly, Mayo's collection has won the Flannery O'Connor Award for Short Fiction.



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