Soniah Kamal

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'Islam is not Pakistan's religion; Marriage is'

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Kitchen Sink Realism and Holly Goddard Jones



Chapter 16 interviews one of my favorite authors, Holly Goddard Jones. I'm crazy about her short story collection 'Girl Trouble.' Apparently her style is 'kitchen sink realism'. Good to know this is the style that makes me melt. Kitchen sink realism is fiction about regional, blue collar America. I'm not blue collar America, and think I have always, in all respects, been far away from regional. But these stories speak to me, ruin me even, in that each character no matter how 'regional' is tackling issues which are ridiculously universal, issues which pierce the human heart and draw blood no matter who you are and which social rung you hang your beret. Goddard's characters, as she says in this interview, over think and are aware of their problems: that's means they're smart but they are also sad. And few characters are as satisfying to spend time with than those who are smart but sad.  Goddard does use alot of exposition in her stories, more 'tell' and less 'show' but, for me, her telling has a psycological depth that is phenomenally nuanced and more satisfying to read than a million pages of showing.


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