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Cover for Her Kind of Want (Iowa Short Fiction Award)

Her Kind of Want (Iowa Short Fiction Award)

Jennifer S. Davis


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Set mainly in the small towns of Alabama, the stories in Her Kind of Want ache with the relentless longing of the poor, struggling, usually discarded southern women who tell us their lives—lives that seem to revolve around men whose only presence is their absence.

Bebe, Luna, Melly, Little Hula, Dena. These are just a few of the women we meet in Jennifer Davis's award-winning collection. Women who married too fast, had children too young, and drink too much. Yet beneath their unpolished exteriors, these women are flesh and blood, and their wants and needs are as severe and deep as any.

Davis's characters relate their stories in voices as complex and raw as their southern environment. Each tale may sound slightly familiar—an unwanted pregnancy, a fast car flying down a country road—but Davis moves beyond the familiar stories of the rural South to expose the gaps that connect these women, creating startlingly real and vibrant characters.

Although often bleak and sometimes disturbing, Her Kind of Want is a celebration of southern people, their perseverance, their spirit, and their determination to make the ugly beautiful.

Praise For Her Kind of Want (Iowa Short Fiction Award)

“Jennifer Davis writes like a magician. She writes of the ordinary and the amazing with equal precision, making us believe there is no difference between the two. She catches us up between her heartache for and her terror of the South, until the most northern among us think we were born there. She leaves us breathless and amazed—saddened, hopeful, wanting only more.” —Pam Houston, author of Cowboys Are My Weakness

University Of Iowa Press, 9780877458180, 152pp.

Publication Date: August 21, 2002