Fiction by Holly Goddard Jones
University of Iowa Press, May 2022
In this collection of eleven stories, a harried and depressed mother of three young children serves on a committee that watches over the bottomless sinkhole that has appeared in her Kentucky town. During COVID lockdown, a thirty-four-year-old gamer moves back home with his parents and is revisited by his long-forgotten childhood imaginary friend. A politician running for a state congressional seat and a young mother, who share the same set of fears about the future, cross paths but don’t fully understand one another. A woman attends a party at the home of a fellow church parishioner and discovers she is on the receiving end of a sales pitch for a doomsday prepper. These stories and more contemplate our current reality with both frankness and hard-earned hopefulness, realism and fabulism, tackling parenthood, environment, and the absurd-but-unavoidable daily toil of worrying about mundane matters when we’ve entered “an era of unknowability, of persistent strangeness.” Holly Goddard Jones is associate professor in the MFA program in creative writing at the University of North Carolina, Greensboro. She is author of Girl Trouble, The Next Time You See Me, and The Salt Line.