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Gilchrist, Ellen

book jane rhoda short

(US, 1935– )

Ellen Gilchrist grew up in Mississippi. Her first book of short stories, In the Land of Dreamy Dreams (1981), introduces Rhoda Manning and Nora Jane Whittington, two of her favourite heroines, both of whom have fraught, ambivalent relationships with the legacy of southern womanhood. They grow up and continue to struggle in their different ways with family, sex, ambition, and adventure —Nora Jane, the zanier of the two, once robbed a bar in New Orleans dressed as a nun—in several other collections including Victory over Japan (1984, winner of the American Book Award for fiction). In one story in The Age of Miracles (1994), Rhoda's children kidnap her to prevent her from having a facelift at 60. Net of Jewels (1992), a novel, deals with her turbulent, rebellious teenage years. The racial and social tensions of the South are the backdrop for most of Gilchrist's work.

Barbara Kingsolver, Eudora Welty, E. Annie Proulx. See SHORT STORIES  AT

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