Domesticated Wild Things, And Other Stories (Prairie Schooner Book Prize In Fiction)
Publish Date: 2013-09-01
Author: Xhenet Aliu
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Just down the highway from Connecticuts Gold Coast is the states rusty underbelly, the wretched, used-up sort of place where you might find Xhenet Alius Domesticated Wild Things: the reluctant mothers, delinquent dads, and not-quite-feral children, yet dreamers all. These are the children of immigrants who found boarded-up brass mills instead of the gilded streets of America; theyre the teenaged girls raised in the fluorescent glow of Greek diners, the middle-aged men with pump trucks and teratomas. These are people who have fled, or who should have. And if they are indeed familiar, it is because Aliu writes what is real, whether we ourselves, her readers, have seen it up close or not. And her stories make sense in a way that matters.
A young mother buys into a real-estate investment seminar offered on an infomercial, only to be put back into her place by a bully in foreclosure. A closeted wrestler befriends a latchkey seven-year-old neighbor who harbors secrets of her own. A YMCA counselor tries to reclaimshoes stolen by a troubled young camper.
What they share is a biting humor, an eye for the absurd, and fumbling attempts at human connection, all rendered irresistibleand as moving as they are amusingby a writer whose work is at once edgy and endearing and prize winning forreasons any reader can appreciate.