About the Book

How She Knows What She Knows about Yo-Yos

How She Knows What She Knows about Yo-Yos

Stories
January 2000
Trade Paperback · 208 Pages
$13.95 U.S. · $17.00 CAN
ISBN 9781889330372
Sarabande Books

 

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Description

In these five luxuriant short stories, the acclaimed author of Come and Go, Molly Snow searches out the complex truth of critical moments in the lives of five women.
The central figures in these stories range in age from a young single ESL teacher in Todo el Mundo-Leila, bent on resisting the advances of a fast party set of middle-aged mainland married couples in Puerto Rico-to Rosa of Banana Boats, a Chicago Czech overheard in the midst of her reflections on a longtime marriage to a vain man of genteel Southern airs and irremediable fakery.
Like the human predicaments delineated in them, the settings of the five stories are memorably rendered. In the title story, Undella defies Baptist opinion in Ellenberg, Kentucky, when she takes up with a yo-yo salesman, an archetypal trickster who both snares and liberates her. In The World's Room, trekking to a prehistoric hill-fort and along the stony beach of southern England in winter, Gin, a vulnerable young American poet, puzzles her way through two romantic involvements to accept the reality of her own history. Taylor-Hall devotes herself not only to satisfying the reader's hunger for story-for just the right action, gesture, event, saying-but also to the reader's pleasure in interior moments, in idiosyncratic monologue and unforgettable voices.
In portraying women of intelligence and moxie, Taylor-Hall's authorial wit is almost always perched close upon the verge of hilarity. With a wonderfully keen eye and a shrewd ear, Taylor-Hall addresses the strait gate of women's choices, giving a wise, sorrowful, and deeply funny cost-benefit analysis of erotic experience and attachments.
Mary Ann Taylor Hall's short fiction has appeared in The Sewanee Review, The Colorado Quarterly, The Kenyon Review, The Paris Review, The Florida Review, The Chattahoochee Review, Shenandoah, and Ploughshares. It has won a PEN/Syndicated Fiction Award and has been anthologized in Best American Short Stories. She has received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Kentucky Arts Council. Her first novel, Come and Go, Molly Snow, was published in February 1995. Hall lives on a farm on the county line between Harrison and Scott C