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Publish Date: January 2000
My Lord Bag of Rice
New and Selected Stories
BY Carol Bly
My Lord Bag of Rice collects Carol Blys best and most recent work, eleven stories fortified with sharp-eyed characters who stand a little apart from their routine, stolid lives. Blys stories, exquisitely observed, often make use of humor (in one town, everyone does business at the Feral Cafe), yet always expect their characters—and people in general—to cultivate a sense of greatness in their lives.
Humor plays a big part, as in “The Dignity of Life,” where sixty-ish mortician Jack Canon learns how to distract the town necrophiliac, or in “The Tomcats Wife,” where Cheryl Hastad admits, when her husband puts on airs, “I did not marry Furman Hastad for his brains.” Blys characters range from the owner of a chemical plant ringed with picketers to a single mother burdened by her own cheerfulness, to (in the title story) a widow finally free to create a new family.
OTHER BOOKS BY THIS AUTHOR:
“Carol Bly is a master storyteller and fiction writer. Her brilliance, ethical sense, and artistry reach a pinnacle of polish in the two new stories in her marvelous collection, My Lord Bag of Rice, which could have been subtitled, 'The Best of Bly.'”—Abigail Davis, Bloomsbury Review
“At the rural crossroads of Women's Fiction and American Noir, Carol Bly has staked her territory. Clear but unexpectedly dark, Bly's writing is as unusual as it is accessible. . . . Sly examinations of domestic and emotional upset.”—Newsday
“Bly has a gift for making flawed, spirited people endearing, and many of her characters are heroic because they've become heroes to themselves.”—Publishers Weekly
“Bly goes to the core of human nature in a way that is quiet and efficient and dead sure. And also surprising.”—San Francisco Chronicle
“What makes these stories so appealing is that, as Bly says, she puts 'people before weather and props.' . . . She spends her words developing her characters fully into people the reader cares about.”—Utne Reader