Whose World is This?

Whose World is This?

3.94 (19 ratings by Goodreads)
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Lee Montgomery's surprising stories capture moments in women's lives when, pushed to the edge, they teeter between the complete bewilderment of loss and the lurking possibility of found. These are not stories about diets, designer jeans, and bad boyfriends; these are stories that dismantle the fabric of convention to reveal the raw interior worlds of women who have come of age on the heels of Betty Crocker and in the hem of Betty Friedan. Montgomery's characters blow drugs and boys, advise friends who are dying of AIDS about pennies in penny loafers, write letters to Caroline Kennedy, and fall in love with movie stars. Some lose themselves to ambivalence while contemplating motherhood; others find themselves soothed when, after hearing of the sudden death of a dear friend, they seduce a stranger. In the story "We Americans," a woman abandoned by her husband grows so vulnerable, she internalizes TV news tragedies by developing hives in the shapes of foreign countries. In the title story, "Hannah", a speed freak working the graveyard shift in a nursing home, falls in love with a quadriplegic who, void of feeling in his limbs, feels things that Hannah cannot. In "Avalanche," an editor to movie stars in Beverly Hills struggles with how to reconcile her own story with the fairy-tale endings of celebrity culture. Tender, poignant, and at times hilarious, the women in "Whose World Is This?" turn common notions of love, compassion, and tradition upside down as they show us how vulnerability, although dangerous, is what makes life astonishingly beautiful and reality strangely unreal. 2007 John Simmons short fiction awardshow more

Product details

  • Paperback | 96 pages
  • 139.7 x 228.6 x 12.7mm | 181.44g
  • University of Iowa Press
  • Iowa, United States
  • English
  • First.
  • 1587296144
  • 9781587296147

Review quote

Lee Montgomery writes bleakly funny stories that gouge the veneer of the ordinary to show what really powers a day, a decision, a life. Her characters seem to say, You want generosity of spirit? I LL show you generosity of SPIRIT. The title story with its Denis Johnson quality is a stunner a drugged-out young woman falls for a handsome man she takes care of in a nursing home filled with startling effects. Other characters recount their meager brushes with greatness (with Caroline Kennedy s jeans, with the brother of the biggest pop star in the world). Montgomery intensifies out-of-control lives until, against the odds, they make a kind of sense. Amy Hempel, author, "The Collected Stories""show more

About Lee B. Montgomery

Lee Montgomery is the author of The Things between Us: A Memoir. She lives in Portland, Oregon, where she is the editorial director of Tin House Books and the executive editor of Tin House magazine.show more

Rating details

19 ratings
3.94 out of 5 stars
5 37% (7)
4 32% (6)
3 21% (4)
2 11% (2)
1 0% (0)
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