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Slut Lullabies - Book Club November '11

November's Book Club selection is Slut Lullabies by Gina Frangello.

I first heard about this book from here. From when Richard did a review of it. Something in the review really caught me, I think it was when Richard mentioned first sentences. I'm a big fan of that first sentence having to be great. And the first sentence in this book really does hook you in instantly.

It's ten stories. So it should be an easy discussion.

Gina will be stopping by to answer questions and discuss. It should be a good time.

Here's the description:

Following her debut novel, My Sister's Continent, which delved "fearlessly into questions of identity, abuse...trust, trespass, and delusion" (Booklist), Gina Frangello continues her exploration of the power dynamics of gender, class, and sexuality in this collection of diverse, vibrant short fiction. Slut Lullabies is unsettling. Like the experience of reading a private diary, these stories leave one feeling slightly traitorous while also imprinting a deep recognition of truths you did not know you felt.

It is through beauty, horror, humor and chaos that Frangello has managed to pull these ten stories out of her deep understanding of the human experience. A gay Latino man whose pious relatives are boycotting his `commitment ceremony' becomes caught up in hypocrisy and splendor when his lover's Waspy mother hires a glitzy wedding coordinator; a precocious girl seduces her teacher in order to blackmail him into funding her young stepmother's escape from their violent home; a wife turns to infidelity and drugs to distract her from chronic pain following an accident; a teenage boy attempts atonement in Amsterdam after having exploited his naive girlfriend at home; and a socialite must confront her dark past as her husband's deterioration from Huntington's Disease destroys both her bank account and social standing.

Each insightfully drawn, deeply felt character moves delicately amid the despair and wreckage of ordinary life, but always towards hope. And Frangello's oddly uplifting voice acts as the unifying thread, drawing out a beauty and dimension which demands both our criticism and our empathy.

Get to reading!