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My Escapee

Stories

Corinna Vallianatos

Publication Year: 2013

Delicate and assured, the stories in My Escapee illuminate unseen forces in women’s lives: the shameful thought, the stifled hope, the subterranean stresses of marriage, friendship, and family. Grappling with lost memories, escaped time, the longing to be loved, and the instinct for autonomy, the stories peer inside their characters’ minds to their benign delusions, their triumphs and defeats. A girl taking a test for admittance to a selective school finds that what she loves most of all is the ordinary. A lonely young woman, sick of being sick, swaps places with her nurse. A college student deploys her more charming roommate to discover the secret rituals of an all-male club on campus. And in the title story, a woman in a nursing home receives mysterious missives from her longtime lover recalling fragments of their old life together.

Published by: University of Massachusetts Press

Cover

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p. C-C

Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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pp. i-vi

Table of Contents

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pp. vii-x

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My Escapee

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pp. 1-18

I do not know where Margaret is. She sends me a brochure describing a cruise to the Galapagos, on the back of which she’s written, Shall we pack? But I can’t travel anymore. I have caretakers. In my eighty-eight years, I have never been with a man....

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Posthumous Fragments of Veronica Penn

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pp. 19-39

2007. Even now, she could summon the moment that she met her husband, though she didn’t often want to. No, she liked to daydream about another young man, whom she could still see—it was uncanny how crisply—walking toward her, his face full of what she’d thought was confidence but later recognized...

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Examination

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pp. 40-52

Anna passes her parents’ bedroom and sees through the cracked door her mother standing in her underwear in front of a fulllength mirror. Her mother raises her arms over her head and releases a blue bundle that tumbles down her body and becomes a dress. She adjusts its fit across her hips, zips its back zipper...

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Sink Home

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pp. 53-74

The first time Mira sees Hugh, he is trying to thread his body through an unstrung tennis racket. She’s on one side of a crowded room and he’s on the other, but there is a little gap in the crush of people and she watches him twisting his compact body sideways, hoisting up his pants leg, and stretching...

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Salvo

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pp. 75-93

Leah and Ian were hunting for garbage. Leah was getting bored. “Show a little skin!” she shouted at the men loading onto buses in the outdoor plaza of Tucson’s Greyhound station. The men had wily, rash-red faces, and shuffled forward in jerks as if pursued by the jabbing handle of a rake. Heads turned in her direction....

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Celebrants

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pp. 94-111

We cornered April in the living room. She’d just left Adam. “Why now?” Margo asked. Her glasses, perfectly round, and her expression—as if she were searching perpetually for something wily and distant—lent her the appearance of a person peering through binoculars. “Why ever? You and Adam seem destined for great things.”...

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The Help

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pp. 112-128

My nurse fell asleep taking a few deep breaths, like the steps that lead from the deck of a swimming pool into the water. I stayed awake what felt like most of the night, but was probably twenty- or thirty-minute patches here and there. Each time I opened my eyes I felt a weird alertness, as if I were taking a...

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Privations

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pp. 129-141

The lily pads are gone, gone, and this is less a worry than a verdict: sad. They’ve all died on the lake in Echo Park. Or is it lotus leaves? I can’t remember. I read about it in the newspaper, a neighborhood’s minor tragedy, but it feels larger to me. Pollution to blame, probably. I don’t remember that part either, just the fact...

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Shelter

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pp. 142-144

After the guests left, the bride floated for a while above a table covered with half-eaten pieces of wedding cake and flower petals. Her face narrowed to a knotted chin, around which was tied a length of white ribbon....

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A Civilizing Effect

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pp. 145-164

Edith told herself she wasn’t going to date now that she was a grandmother, yet she’d gone ahead and moved in with a man named Pete. Pete suffered from a sleep disorder. He would appear to wake up in the middle of the night, talking and lecturing, singing sometimes. Once he even shuffled into the...

Acknowledgments

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pp. 165-167

Back Cover

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p. BC-BC


E-ISBN-13: 9781613762752
E-ISBN-10: 1613762755
Print-ISBN-13: 9781558499867
Print-ISBN-10: 1558499865

Page Count: 176
Publication Year: 2013

Series Title: Grace Paley Prize in Short Fiction

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Subject Headings

  • Women -- Fiction.
  • Women -- Psychology -- Fiction.
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