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What Gets Into Us

Moira Crone

Publication Year: 2006

In What Gets Into Us, the new collection of short stories by Moira Crone, a curious child discovers that some believe "the gods who made this world didn't make it right, and they are terribly sorry about it." A nine-year-old girl is the only one who realizes that her mother's mental illness has put the family's survival at stake. A shy African American woman confronts evil directly in a terrifying act of love. A teenage orphan replaces a wayward son in a privileged but unhappy family. A young carpenter decides that if his baby is going to be born right, he will have to commit a crime and build the world anew.

Fayton, North Carolina, is a rural town in which everyone knows everyone else's business. Crone explores this fictional landscape and its inhabitants from many angles. The stories follow the lives of men and women who grew up together in Fayton. Full of memorable characters from several generations, this story cycle evolves into a chronicle of a region and its characters. Through it, Crone meditates on the mix of history and spirit that shapes souls and creates community.

From the perspectives of its various protagonists—white and black, male and female, young and old—we watch as Fayton comes to deal with the charged issues of race, feminism, southern traditions, and the unforeseen changes wrought by economics and technology. What Gets Into Us is a powerful story cycle that resonates as deeply as a classic novel.

Moira Crone is the author of the novel Period of Confinement and two collections of short stories. Four of her stories have appeared in New Stories from the South: The Year's Best. This collection includes her novella, "The Ice Garden," which won the 2004 William Faulkner/Wisdom Prize.

Published by: University Press of Mississippi

Cover/Title Page/Copyright/Acknowledgments

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Contents

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pp. 7-8

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The Ice Garden

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pp. 9-59

She came from the past, from a time when people could be more exaggerated, he said. Yet she would catch up. She could be modern, his Diana, now that she was home from the hospital. She would live with us again, be our mother. It seemed to me to be all he talked about. ...

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White Sky in May

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pp. 60-67

Then, this May on a Saturday, I took my red bike to Claire's. We stood outside. High as a tower, their fir. Me and, beside me, Cookie. We leaned my bike on the trunk. The earth below, smooth, burgundy brown, smelled like Christmas. All the girls on the block had married Cookie for pretend one time or another. ...

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Mr. Sender

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pp. 68-88

Mr. Hamilton Sender, founder and owner of Sender Insurance of Fayton, died Saturday of a gun accident at his home. He was forty-two. Mr. Sender was born in Fayton, and was a lifelong resident of this city. He attended East Atlantic College in Keaneville, and served for four years in the Navy in the Pacific Theater, ...

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The Odd Fellow

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pp. 89-108

It was the first day at Fayton High in 1964. The dark-eyed boy in homeroom seemed to know him. "You the one Mrs. Sender took in? The orphan? What's that like?" he asked. "I always wondered." ...

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It

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pp. 109-123

The place was decent-sized, and very new. The reception area had magazines for women, the ones about clothes and houses. There was a blue carpet, and we were high up for a suburban building, on the fourth or fifth floor. We were north of the city, in White Plains. ...

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Pipe Smoke

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pp. 124-133

She takes out her mother's best china, makes hot tea with lemon, and her parents, whom she is visiting, are at the drugstore, where they always are. She lets it steep, pours my cup. At the sight ofthat, her serving me, I think, well, the time has finally come when Lily and I can talk ...

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Salvage

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pp. 134-158

To get to North Salter you head south from Fayton through the Alba River Basin on 117 toward Guston Corners to State Road 20A. This is by far the loneliest beach road I know of. Long time ago the island was a place for pirates to hide their booty and now mamma sea turtles come to shore there to bury their eggs. ...

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Paradise

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pp. 159-171

Half the town is talking already. The rest will read about it in tomorrow's paper. But I am not interested in why Uncle Tulip wants me arrested. A civil suit is a civil thing, he says, and this thing wasn't civil. Breach of contract, actually, would be civil, he's saying, what Homeboy did was malicious, criminal. ...

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Where What Gets Into People Comes From

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pp. 172-190

As soon as they walked into the Cobbs' home that morning, Lily's mother said the facts of the man's murder were too horrible to repeat. But Lily's father insisted a story as awful as how Mr. Homer was slaughtered would teach Lily something about this world. ...


E-ISBN-13: 9781621038757
E-ISBN-10: 1578067723
Print-ISBN-13: 9781578067725

Publication Year: 2006

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