In Conversation: Jamie Quatro & Jill McCorkle
Wednesday March 13, 2013
Jamie Quatro (I Want To Show You More) and Jill McCorkle (Life After Life) read from and discussed their new books which give very different takes on life in the South.
About I Want to Show You More and Jamie Quatro
I Want to Show You More blends the broad appeal of writers such as Melissa Bank and Pam Houston with the literary acumen of Miranda July and Maile Malloy. Set around Lookout Mountain on the border of Georgia and Tennessee, Quatro’shypnotically revealing stories range from the traditional to the fabulist as they expose lives torn between spirituality and sexuality in the New American South.
These fifteen linked tales confront readers with dark theological complexities, fractured marriages, and mercurial temptations. Throughout the collection, a mother in her late thirties relates the various stages of her affair while other characters lay bare their own notions of God, illicit sex, raising children, and running: a wife comes home with her husband to find her lover’s corpse in their bed; marathon runners on a Civil War battlefield must carry phallic statues and are punished if they choose to unload their burdens; a girl’s embarrassment over attending a pool party with her quadriplegic mother turns to fierce devotion under the pitying gaze of other guests; and a husband asks his wife to show him how she would make love to another man. Read The New Yorker's review of I Want to Show You More here.
Jamie Quatro's work has appeared or is forthcoming in the PEN/O. Henry Prize Stories, Tin House, McSweeney's, Oxford American, Ploughshares, The Kenyon Review, and elsewhere. A finalist for the Katherine Anne Porter Prize in Short Fiction and the winner of the 2011 American Short Fiction Story Contest, she is the recipient of fellowships from Yaddo and the MacDowell Colony, and was the Georges and Anne Borchardt Scholar at the 2011 Sewanee Writers' Conference. She holds graduate degrees from the College of William and Mary and Bennington College, and lives with her husband and children in Lookout Mountain, Georgia.
About Life After Life and Jill McCorkle
Jill McCorkle’s first novel in seventeen years is alive with the daily triumphs and challenges of the residents and staff of Pine Haven Estates, a retirem
ent facility now home to a good many of Fulton, North Carolina’s older citizens. Among them, third-grade teacher Sadie Randolph, who has taught every child in town and believes we are all eight years old in our hearts; Stanley Stone, once Fulton’s most prominent lawyer, now feigning dementia to escape life with his son; Marge Walker, the town’s self-appointed conveyor of social status who keeps a scrapbook of every local murder and heinous crime; and Rachel Silverman, recently widowed, whose decision to leave her Massachusetts home and settle in Fulton is a mystery to everyone but her. C.J., the pierced and tattooed young mother who runs the beauty shop, and Joanna, the hospice volunteer who discovers that her path to a good life lies with helping folks achieve good deaths, are two of the staff on whom the residents depend.
McCorkle puts her finger on the pulse of every character’s strengths, weaknesses, and secrets. And, as she connects their lives through their present circumstances, their pasts, and, in some cases, their deaths, she celebrates the blessings and wisdom of later life and infuses this remarkable novel with hope and laughter.
Jill McCorkle is the author of eight previous books, five of which were New York Times Notable Books. Two stories in Going Away Shoes were published in The Best American Short Stories. Winner of the New England Book Award, the Dos Passos Prize for Excellence in Literature, and the North Carolina Award for Literature, she teaches writing at North Carolina State University and lives with her husband in Hillsborough, North Carolina.