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Stories by Sandra Thompson

Publication Year: 1984

Sandra Thompson takes us inside the lives of women struggling to find their places among lovers, husbands and ex-husbands, mothers, and children in relationships where old rules do not apply and new rules have not yet been set.

Thompson’s characters live in a world where dreams often supersede reality and things are not as they seem. Her style is sophisticated and subtle, and we experience her stories almost by osmosis. They stay with us afterwards to question their own realities.

Published by: University of Georgia Press

Series: Flannery O'Connor Award for Short Fiction

Title, Copyright Page

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pp. ix


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pp. 1-56

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Horror Show

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pp. 3-9

My brother, soft palms and knees moving silently across the carpet, approaches me lying above him on the bed, unsuspecting. It is his favorite game, "Ribs." He is the...

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pp. 10-17

The Number One Idol is dead. His face in the obituary: white hair on white paper. He is smiling, and his eyes veer off the page. I recognize the gaze. I had tried to follow it there,...

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pp. 18-30

Sally looks up at Barry. He's wearing a pair of white ducks that are ripped all the way up the crotch. He likes loose clothes, clothes several sizes too big for him. He doesn't like to button...

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pp. 31-48

I know it's a mistake when I get off the plane in L.A. The plane isn't late, and it isn't early, so there's no reason for Ben not to be here. He isn't here. I get on a moving sidewalk that takes...

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pp. 49-56

My mother died. She was fifty years old. She had so many times told me how she would choose to die: as her own grandmother had died, at the age of ninety,...


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pp. 57-104

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The Baby in Mid-Air

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pp. 59-63

As she sees the baby in mid-air, her brown head falling toward the floor, her legs and red shoes above it, the mother—too far out of reach to catch her or even to break the impact...

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pp. 64-69

It's been snowing for thirty hours. The cat is restless. She whines to go out. A four-foot drift blocks the back door. She leaps to the windowsill, her body...

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Mother's Day

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pp. 70-78

I'm afraid to walk the dog alone at night, so I ask my husband to watch me from the window. I go out into the street with the dog and look up at our parlor window. It's dark there...

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Memoir, Cut Short

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pp. 79-83

My ex-husband always had blondes who did everything for him. I was a brunette who didn't like to do anything for anybody. Even after he'd found a blonde heiress who...

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pp. 84-93

It's a long drive back to the city from Montauk. I'm sitting shotgun next to Norton, who is driving his mother's Cadillac. My husband and my two-year-old daughter...

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The Birthday Party

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pp. 94-98

September 26, 1980. It is my daughter's sixth birthday. We are sitting in the back of Burger King, waiting for the party to begin. Our section is roped...

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The Don

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pp. 99-104

Standing alone at the end of St. Petersburg Beach, a strip of white sand that curves into the Gulf of Mexico, a mammoth Spanish structure, the Don Ce Sar Hotel, splashes unabashedly pink against...

E-ISBN-13: 9780820342078
E-ISBN-10: 0820342076
Print-ISBN-13: 9780820306834
Print-ISBN-10: 0820306835

Page Count: 116
Publication Year: 1984

Series Title: Flannery O'Connor Award for Short Fiction