Cover

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Frontmatter

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Contents

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Rewriting Girl: An Introduction

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pp. 1-6

Sean wrote stories of snapping beans on the front porch of his grandma's house in Eufaula, Alabama. Not only a porch, but a built-on porch of an eaten-out double-wide cluttered with catsup packets and faded pink Sweet 'n Lows and plastic knives and forks and the Styrofoam bottoms from hamburger...

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The Ballad of My Father's Redneck Wife

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pp. 7-26

This isn't some story about a man with a dual existence, a form of simulacrum if you will: a home with a wife and two kids and a dog in one suburb, a home with a wife and two kids and a dog in another, matching suits hanging in both closets, the wives with identical nicknames to eliminate confusion in intimate moments...

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Some Things Collide

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pp. 27-44

Nadine wonders if her recent need to place her hands over the burners on the stove (always counterclockwise in direction), or her insistence on drinking bottled water only (two brands, researched), or her new obsession with fingering a particular lump behind her ear she found at twelve, a discovery which ruined...

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Only Ends

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pp. 45-53

When Quinn showed up at our door with Marcy I wouldn't open it even though he rang twice. Momma said, What are you, a nut? Open the damn door. So I did. Marcy was thin like a branch with the same knobby knots on her chest and she smelled of baby powder and some other perfume I didn't like. She had on...

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What Kind of Man

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pp. 54-72

Elsie didn't realize she'd been staring at Jimmy long enough for her coffee, the cup clenched between both hands, to go cold. He was mowing the grass, his tropical shirt so damp the white flowers smeared pink with flesh. Limp hair swept over his crown. Occasionally he'd pass by the window, see her standing...

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The One Thing God'll Give You

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pp. 73-87

Any time a man took off from Tallassee, his woman's money or car or TV or hope along with him, my momma would look at me, hiss her eyes narrow, say, There's one thing you can count on from a man, and that's him leaving. My momma should have been a drinking woman considering, but she wasn't....

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PoJo's and the Buttery Slope

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pp. 88-101

PoJo's and Nelly's Buttery Nipples. You can't taste the butterscotch schnapps, and that's dangerous. Nelly loves serving Buttery Nipples because she's got herself a third nipple and it gives her a chance to brag about it to newcomers. Except for Will Saints, who dated Nelly the year before and swore he'd sucked on...

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Tammy, Imagined

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pp. 102-121

Sometimes Tammy would overhear a person her grandparents' age say bitterly, "No one cares about anything anymore," and Tammy would picture herself in a few years, standing in a street of a town where she had never been, a place where she was of great importance, a banner wrapped over squared shoulders...

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When You See

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pp. 122-138

This I remember. It's the summer of my hot pink two-piece, the one with the tortoiseshell plastic circle at the breastbone. The summer of my Farrah Fawcett hairstyle, limp feathered wings against my cheeks, and I am bobbing up and down in the water, trying to keep my feet off the bottom of the lake, because...