ECKLEBURG BOOK CLUB | What She Was Saying by Marjorie Maddox

In these powerful stories, What She Was Saying softens the already thin line between hope and hopelessness, between perseverance and despair, between what can and cannot be said. A finalist for the Katherine Anne Porter and Eludia book awards as well as a semifinalist for Black Lawrence Press Hudson, Eastern Washington University Spokane, and Leapfrog Press book prizes, What She Was Saying gives voice to the lives we all need to hear.What People Are Saying about What She Was Saying

From the ingenious title to the last story, What She Was Saying is a study of the gap between the covert and the overt. Alienation, isolation, desperation are here writ both small and large; their echo is a humanistic plea for inclusiveness, community, friendship, and simple love and kindness, one to another. Wonderfully crafted, honest, and bold, Marjorie Maddox’s work always brings her readers to new levels of perceptiveness about the big picture as well as minute moments. –Sena Jeter Naslund, author of Ahab’s Wife and The Fountain of St. James Court, or Portrait of the Artist as an Old Woman

This collection reveals a beguiling new voice in contemporary fiction. . . . Maddox s stories open up unexpected, little noticed corners of our world. . . . Some read like fables; some surprise with bold humor. All celebrate the mystery of the familiar, the strangeness of the ordinary, and the humanity of marginal lives. –Robert Morgan, author of Gap Creek

These are luscious stories, packed with unflinching honesty and the earthshaking kind of beauty that makes us brave. –Fiona Cheong, author of Scent of the Gods and Shadow Theatre

Publisher’s Information

 

  • PUBLISHER: Fomite Press
  • ISBN: 978-1942515685
  • DIMENSIONS: 6 x 9
  • PAGES: 180]
  • PRICE: $15.00
  • RELEASE DATE: 03/01/2017
  • PURCHASE HERE

 

Recommended Works by Marjorie Maddox

Favorite Eckleburg Work: https://files.acrobat.com/a/preview/3af44d25-aecd-46d6-8241-2dfbb20b6f6b?tx=5YT26731HF185425B&st=Completed&amt=3.00&cc=USD&cm=&item_number=fiction-guess-watson

Windthrow by K. A. Hays

Windthrow: a forestry term for the uprooting or breaking of trees by wind. The voices of K. A. Hays’ third volume of poetry speak out of nature’s violent transformations. At turns self-effacing and empathic, fearful and accepting, these are poems of heat: the heat of new motherhood, of uncertainty, and of grief. Here, the things of a teeming world—” the truck stacked with cut trees,” “the military jet, droning over,” and “the beachgrass, blown / with dusty miller sprout”—are bound for renewal and ruin. In poems spare and strange, Hays looks outward to lay bare the complexities of our emotional lives. READ MORE

The Grass Labyrinth by Charlotte Holmes

Fiction. These linked stories the pain of an artist’s life and of those who share it. A married children’s book illustrator falls in love with a photorealist refugee. Their daughter, a blocked poet, becomes infatuated with a young painter with whom she shares a palpable bond. And this young painter, dumped by his girlfriend and tired of the hustle, envisions settling down with his widowed stepmother in the house where he grew up. Whether in a college town, a Brooklyn loft, or a Carolina coastal cottage, these stories explore, over a 30-year span, how the choices the characters make shape those they love in ways they never anticipate, down through the generations in a surprising portrait of one family’s intimate struggle to find the paths that will carry them to the work they must do, the lives they must lead, and the people they can’t help but love. READ MORE

Discussion Questions for What She Was Saying

1. 1.In what ways does the title, WHAT SHE WAS SAYING, apply to each story in the collection? How is this a book about women’s voices? About silences?

2. 2. Reviewer Kristen Hanna has said of these stories, “Maddox’s exploration of depression, longing, grief, relationships, woundedness, and regret…do what good stories do, they promote empathy and understanding.” Sena Jeter Naslund has added, “…their echo is a humanistic plea for inclusiveness, community, friendship, and simple love and kindness, one to another.” Do you agree or disagree? Why? Is this book, then, also about hope? About writing?

3. 3. WHAT SHE WAS SAYING is a collection of short shorts, short stories, and creative nonfiction. Discuss why and how the author mixes fiction and creative nonfiction. What is the thin line between these genres? How does blurring these boundaries add to the overall themes of the book? Why do you think the author ordered the pieces the way that she did?

About Marjorie Maddox

Sage Graduate Fellow of Cornell University (MFA) and Professor of English and Creative Writing at Lock Haven University, Marjorie Maddox has published eleven collections of poetry—including True, False, None of the Above; Local News from Someplace Else; Wives’ Tales; Transplant, Transport, Transubstantiation; and Perpendicular As I —the short story collection What She Was Saying—and over 500 stories, essays, and poems in journals and anthologies. Co-editor of Common Wealth: Contemporary Poets on Pennsylvania, she also has published four children’s books. For more information, please see www.marjoriemaddox.com

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In these powerful stories, What She Was Saying softens the already thin line between hope and hopelessness, between perseverance and despair, between what can and cannot be said. A finalist for the Katherine Anne Porter and Eludia book awards as well as a semifinalist for Black Lawrence Press Hudson, Eastern Washington University Spokane, and Leapfrog Press book prizes, What She Was Saying gives voice to the lives we all need to hear.

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The Editors

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