In the Land of Men

Nelson, Antonya. In the Land of Men: Stories. New York: William Morrow & Company, 1992.

“In the Land of Men” is a twelve page enormously powerful tale. What would you do if you lost your mother to cancer and left you alone with a father and three teenage brothers; left you living “in the land of men?” What would you do if said brothers, Les, Sam & Donald, find and kidnap your rapist? He’s in the trunk of the family car and their only question to you is, what do you want to do? The story leaves you hanging, holding your breath.

“Goodbye Midwest” could also have been called “Goodbye Roxanne.” It’s the story of an adult woman looking back on a lost friendship from childhood. Best friends from middle school, Roxanne was her opposite in everything. Why they were even friends in the first place is a mystery…but that’s the beauty of coming of age. Everything is a mystery.

Quote I liked, ” She wants to be young, off balance, teetering purposefully next to her husband, drinking something serious like bourbon” ( 120).

Reason read: June is short story month. Still.

Book trivia: In the Land of Men is comprised of fourteen short stories of which I only read two. But, I do have other Nelson books to read on the challenge list.

Author fact: Antonya Nelson’s stories have appeared in Playboy.

BookLust Twist: from More Book Lust in the chapter called “Good Things Come in Small Packages” (p ).

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