This collection of stories, set in various locales of North Carolina create entire worlds and indelible moments as only the best short fiction does.
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Here We Are in Paradise based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
I bought this beautiful collection of stories years ago and loved it. Then I moved. And moved again. And again. All my books went into boxes, which went into my parents' attic. I recently revisited the attic and found HERE WE ARE IN PARADISE at the top of a box marked UTENSILS. It's as stunning now as it was the first time I read it. I read the opening paragraphs of 'Charlotte' to my college fiction writing students and made them write about 'something that is gone'-- you know, like the professional wrestlers. They must have been inspired, because they turned in some of their best work yet. If you missed this collection when it first came out, read it now!
I did end up loving this book. It was a little shaky there in the first story though...it was my least favorite of the lot. I'm not sure if it was the style of the story itself (sort of a stream-of-consciousness [but with punctuation, thank god] rambling with lots of flashbacks and flashforwards), or if it was just that I had to get back into the short story frame of mind. When you've been on a diet of strictly novels and non-fiction, short stories can really throw you for a loop.Fortunately, I loved the second story which was ostensibly about Charlotte losing its pro wrestling alliance to Ted Turner and Atlanta, but was really so much more.I was also thrilled to see that the last three stories were about Jim Glass, his mother and his uncles, who I fell in love with when I read Jim the Boy. I believe these stories were written before the novel, but I'm glad I read the novel first. In it, Earley only tells us about one year in Jim's childhood. These stories span the rest of his life. I liked the innocence of the first book so much that it was nice not to spoil it by reading these stories first.I'm going to include a spoiler here by quoting the last line of the last story in the book, so if you don't want to read it, stop now. (It's such a lovely quote, I can't help myself.)"We live in stories, and our stories go on, even when we are dead. If there is one thing I would like to say to my mother, it is that: do not worry, our stories go on."Just wonderful.