With the graceful lyricism of a musician's ear, the stories of So There! inhabit the quiet spaces of heartache and the loud spaces of rage. Their landscapes harken back to the South of Reid's first vel, In the Breeze of Passing Things, and form their own kind of topography, the human heart and its many urges. Within the world of this collection, girls and women sidle the precipice of new lives and new selves. In If You Must Kw, a young woman serves as host to a cicada and tries to recreate the bliss of her first sexual experience, the very moment when the insect chose to burrow into her. Pearl in a Pocket is the story of young teen Vyla--one of thirteen sisters, some living, more miscarried--who discovers how powerless love can be. So There, a 15-year old girl recalls the rhythm of nights her father swung her around the Black Diamond Lounge while her mother stole dances with anyone and everyone else. The girls and women of these stories stand at the edge of rebirth undeniably aware that who they are--their shape, their class, their family, their brand of love or crazy--makes them far more complicated than the world will allow. They are brave and terrified, isolated and enveloped; they are dead and bleed to live. And all seem to stand with hands on hips, defiant in that kwledge, even perhaps eating it up.
NICOLE LOUISE REID is the author of the novel In the Breeze of Passing Things. Her award-winning short stories have appeared in The Southern Review, Other Voices, Quarterly West, Black Warrior Review, and Meridian. A recipient of the Willamette Award in Fiction, she teaches creative writing at the University of Southern Indiana. She lives in Newburgh, Indiana.