About The Missing Girl
by Jacqueline Doyle
Black Lawrence Press
“In these dark and edgy stories, Jacqueline Doyle has made a dispassionate study of the degradation of girls and the twisted hearts of those who harm them. Most chilling is the ease with which these characters fall prey to violence and how quickly depravity finds its way past the surface of ordinary situations. Prepare to be very disturbed.” Elizabeth McKenzie, author of MacGregor Tells the World and The Portable Veblen (2016 National Book Award Finalist)
“Full of sex, lies, and vivid insights into the human compulsion to do the wrong thing,
these stories go down easy but hit hard. A powerful and provocative collection.” Frances Lefkowitz, author of To Have Not
“Jacqueline Doyle knows where you live. The stories in her collection, The Missing Girl, have your address and even after the first read (and you will be back, she knows that), these stories will be moving in to stay. Whatever your usual role in a culture with an undeniable instinct for violence, Doyle’s writing lures you to do more than dismiss it, more than abhor it, and yet this isn’t a welcome to merely spectate, there is nothing gratuitous here unless life itself is gratuitous. In fact, Doyle has found the thread through that menace that surrounds us and is in us and is calling you in to hold onto your bit of it, to witness. Here, Doyle choreographs the everyday dance between safety and terror, between taking the chances we need to live and not living at all. The Missing Girl is a masterful work and a must read.” Tupelo Hassman, author of girlchild
“Dark, haunting, relevant, cohesive, and incredibly well conceived. I absolutely loved The Missing Girl.” Simone Muench, author of Orange Crush and Wolf Centos
In Jacqueline Doyle’s collection of flash fictions The Missing Girl, the voicelessness of the missing is palpable, the girls’ stories whispered into a vacuum or recounted from the point of view of a predator, murderer, or voyeur. Violence lurks below the surface here, haunts the back pages of newspapers, takes up residence in your dreams. You know a missing girl.
An excerpt from the opening story:
You can see her in your mind’s eye, perky smile dimming, fear dawning in her eyes. Yes, you feel like you know this girl. Just the kind to go missing. Awkward and shy. Inexperienced and eager. Tender, playing brave. Dirt poor. You know. The kind of girl who’ll step right into your car if you call her pretty….
Jerrold Road is empty today. Birds gather in one of the tall, bare trees by the roadside, jabbering. Dead leaves whirl in the wake of a chilly gust of wind. Yellow grass. Gray sky. Not a car in sight. Just a girl in a gray sweatshirt, hood up against the cold, walking.
Slow way down and hit the button for the passenger window.
Go ahead, say it. “Hey pretty girl, want a lift?”
About Jacqueline Doyle
Jacqueline Doyle’s creative nonfiction and fiction have appeared in The Gettysburg Review, [PANK], Southern Humanities Review, Confrontation, Monkeybicycle, Electric Literature, Catamaran Literary Reader, Phoebe, and The Rumpus, among others. Black Lawrence Press will publish her flash fiction chapbook The Missing Girl in September 2017. She has published flash in Wigleaf, matchbook, Quarter After Eight, The Pinch, Dr. T.J. Eckleburg Review, Post Road, Hotel Amerika (forthcoming), and many fine zines. Her work has earned three Pushcart nominations, three Best of the Net nominations, a Best Small Fictions nomination, and two Notable Essay citations in Best American Essays. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area, where she teaches at Cal State East Bay.