Best of What's Next 2009: Lydia Peelle [Author]
Book: Reasons for and Advantages of Breathing
For Fans Of: Jane Smiley, Tony Earley, Emile ZolaWinner of the Pushcart and PEN/O. Henry prizes and a former speechwriter for the Governor of Tennessee,
Lydia Peelle hankers for simpler times, for rural ways and means. Her debut short-story collection, Reasons for and Advantages of Breathing, is part Little House on the Prairie, part American Beauty. Its protagonists shrug and sigh at modernity: girls with summer horses, men with their first Harvester tractors, one-legged taxidermists and a wounded divorcee obsessed with reptiles. Despite Peelle’s obscure narrative routes, you can easily settle into an armchair or an airplane with these stories—better yet, a wraparound porch with milk cows cudding nearby.
What's Next? Peelle is currently writing her first novel, set in the American South during WWI. “I don’t want to say too much just yet,” she says. “Jinxes and all.”
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