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December's Book
Sorrowful Mysteries and Other Stories
by Normandi Ellis

Paperback back cover

Described as "quirky, but not quite bizarre," Sorrowful Mysteries and Other Stories won the 1991 Bumbershoot/Weyerhaeuser Publication Award.

When Connie Dean (in "Maytag") finds out her husband Harold has run off with a shipping clerk from the auto parts store, Connie leaves New Mexico for a job in Idaho. And that's enough for her mother, Maybelle Flood, to drop everything and visit: "I did it for you, honey, because I love you."

One hot afternoon as Dr. Livingston stakes his tomato plants (in "Dr. Livingston's Grotto"), he steps into a small hole, drops through, and finds himself suddenly in the unknown world of a huge, acoustically wonderful cave hidden under his suburban back yard.

And the young narrator of "Kin" feels irritated and half-jealous over the attention her cousin Gloria garners as a result of misbehaving. Gloria has big tits, boy trouble, and, threatening suicide, barricades herself in the bathroom. The narrator has none of these troubles, and that troubles her.

Normandi Ellis spent her childhood in Kentucky before moving west in 1978. She received a B.A. in journalism from the University of Kentucky and an M.A. in English literature from the University of Colorado. Her stories have appeared in Agni Review, Southern Humanities Review, Appalachian Review and other journals. An editor, journalist, and teacher, Ellis lives in Colorado with her daughter Alaina, and her husband, Randall Schroth.

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