Mothers, Tell Your Daughters
W. W. Norton
“Sleepover” is from Bonnie Jo Campbell’s new story collection, MOTHERS, TELL YOUR DAUGHTERS (Norton, 2016). She is the author of National Book Award finalist AMERICAN SALVAGE, and two earlier collections of stories. Campbell is a keen observer of life and trouble in rural American and her working class protagonists can be, all at once, vulnerable, wise, cruel, and funny. The Guardian has named her one of the top ten writers of rural Noir.
Campbell’s earlier collection, WOMEN AND OTHER ANIMALS, which details the lives of women in rural and small town Michigan, won the AWP prize for short fiction; her story “The Smallest Man in the World” was awarded a Pushcart Prize.
Emily Eakin, writing in the New York Times, said of the collection: The world of Bonnie Jo Campbell’s fiction is a place of unremitting struggle. Her characters tend to be so awash in troubles — drug addiction, alcoholism, poverty, injury, disease, broken marriages, sexual abuse — that survival becomes, by necessity, their main occupation.
Praise for the collection:
“Bonnie Jo Campbell is a master of rural America’s postindustrial landscape… Shine each story does, just like two laughing showgirls who, Campbell writes, ‘without wigs and makeup, dressed in their jogging shorts and tanks…seemed like carefree teenage boys.'” — Boston Globe
“The book thrums with powerful young women.” — Chicago Tribune
“It’s a hard-luck, hardscrabble life in the world of Bonnie Jo Campbell’s stories, a landscape that’s as fertile as it is unforgiving, where families crop up and wither with the weather but manage some piquant humor and moments of worthy reckoning along the way.” — Minneapolis Star Tribune