Misery Poker

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Callahan, Marina
Portland State University Library
American Short stories; Cancer -- Fiction; Suicide -- Fiction; Alienation (Social psychology) -- Fiction; Fiction
report description
A collection of nonfiction and fiction pieces that seek to address contemporary moral dilemmas, including but not limited to the hapless, the hopeless, and the helpless. A newly divorced man grapples with nature and estrangement, a woman helps her former lover contemplate suicide, a family copes with the aftermath of breast cancer, a woman travels to the dark side of LA where she watches a porn filmed in her boyfriend's childhood home, and a final story that seeks to reclaim Callahan's relationship with her father that was founded in beekeeping but lost to religion. In each story there is a simultaneous desire and anxiety of closeness; in every story the stare into comedy and tragedy remains relentless. While fundamentally upsetting, these stories aim to charm and ruin in equal measure.