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Rutting Season

Fiction: Literary
Unabridged   5.5 hour(s)
Publication date: 02/12/2019

Rutting Season


Available from major retailers or BUY FROM AMAZON
Audio CD ISBN:9781684418046
Digital Download ISBN:9781684418053


An intimate, sparkling collection of stories by a debut writer, in the vein of Marilynne Robinson and Joy Williams, about girls behaving badly and families on the brink of collapse.

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Product Description

In these lucid, sharply observant stories, Mandeliene Smith traces the lives of men and women in moments of crisis: a woman whose husband has just died, a social worker struggling to escape his own past, a girl caught in a standoff between her mother's boyfriend and the police. A lively and insightful collection, Rutting Season is dark, humorous, and moving, filled with complex characters who immediately demand our interest and attention.

In "What it Takes," a teenage girl navigates race and class as the school's pot dealer. "The Someday Cat" follows a small girl terrified of being given away by her neglectful mother. "Three Views of a Pond" is a meditation on the healing time brings for a college student considering suicide. And in "Animals," a child wrestles with the contradictions inherent in her family's relationship with the farm animals they both care for and kill.

In barnyards, office buildings, and dilapidated houses, Smith's characters fight for happiness and survival, and the choices they make reveal the power of instinct to save or destroy. Whether she's writing about wives struggling with love, teenage girls resisting authority, or men and women reeling from loss, Smith illuminates her characters with pointed, gorgeous language and searing insight.


“This arresting debut short story collection often finds its protagonists poised between disaster and redemption. It's not always easy to foresee how the stories in Smith's collection will end… Nuanced and empathetic, at times dangerous, tragic, or redemptive, these stories find their subjects in the midst of pivotal moments in their lives, as they struggle with impulses and actions both animalistically urgent and deeply, hauntingly human. At once powerful and delicate, compassionate and cleareyed, this book is sure to breed interest in a new literary voice.” —Kirkus Reviews Starred

Author Bio

Mandeliene Smith's stories have appeared in Guernica, the Sun, New England Review, and the Massachusetts Review. Her work has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize, and her story "Mercy" was selected by Stephen King for the list of "100 Other Distinguished Stories" in The Best American Short Stories 2007.