by Victoria Lancelotta

Publisher:  Counterpoint Press

Pub Date:  Fall 2000 and Fall 2003

Format:   Hardcover and Trade Paperback

Brief Description
The debut story collection by the Fiction Editor of the Mississippi Review and Georgetown Review, herself awarded numerous prizes, fellowships and awards, with many of the stories previously published in national magazines.
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"These fierce, nasty stories are the flagellant's skin, marked by her own hand, Catholic from birth.  Maybe this is what happens when young girls are raised in the only remaining, fully functioning, mystery religion. Lancelotta writes like an angel, perhaps because she was trained to be one."
--Frederick Barthelme

"Victoria Lancelotta's stories come on hot and sharp and salty, but under the sensuousness lurks a bladelike clarity. Her young women are grappling with more than just the dangerous, soul-shaking mysteries of sex and intimacy and adulthood. At the heart of HERE IN THE WORLD lies an even more troubling core of loneliness and loss, of wisdom earned at a high price."
--Stewart O'Nan

"Victoria Lancelotta's stories are precisely conceived and exquisitely rendered. Dark and intricate, smoky and alluring, HERE IN THE WORLD delivers on its promises."
--Madison Smartt Bell

"Victoria Lancelotta's fiction is maddened by Catholicism and charged by a sexuality that is raucous, disturbed, frisky, fun, raffish, and refined. In the old Frankenstein-meets-Werewolf motif, it's O'Connor meets Hawkes."
--Padgett Powell

"It's all here. The soiled sister. Rough sex with a blind man. Mother gone mad. Father dying. All of it. The irresistible brother-in-law. What's left after a husband. Prayer, screaming. Skin carved with initals or bitten by horseshoe crabs. Bars from Carolinas to Delaware. Women you must never be. Here. Dressed up like a babe. Half agreeing. Mystical, scary stories that are all hers. Severe, brilliant, Victoria Lancelotta. Who keeps the flame fixed on high burn. Who is a genius of holy beauty, of ecstasy and dread."
--Mary Robison


"...By writing with such visceral delight about scent, taste and physical sensation, she leaves readers no doubt as to our fleshy residence ''here in the world."....In this plainspoken yet evocative prose, Lancelotta directly channels the vibratory hum of the senses to make us wince at each bruise and savor each bite.... Lancelotta's use of this potent symbol in a gritty, working-class courtship rite deliciously updates, for instance, the spectacles of martyrdom so common in Renaissance painting.....This murky brew of guilt, forbidden knowledge and punishment percolates at a low, skillfully controlled temperature. Like the blade-wielding mugger that her narrator imagines to be an architect, Lancelotta infuses injury with a sense of design....There's something brave in Lancelotta's resistance to propulsive storytelling. It may be commercially damning praise, but these elegant vignettes have the revelatory pith found in the best prose poetry. The stories in ''Here in the World'' press us, face first, into our own needs, into the raw fact of the body's desires and its limits."
--The New York Times Book Review
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Full Description
          The women in Victoria Lancelotta's debut collection of stories live in the space between memory and desire, where what they see around them and what they know to be true can be vastly different things. They live in a world where time is malleable, stones are food, the body is an altar, and the confessional is a difficult paradise. Here a blind man's stick and a church carnival offer equal opportunities for redemption, and the family is the last place to look for home.
Dark, edgy, brilliant, and disturbing, Here in the World tells us stories of women who, however flawed or compromised, are fierce and unforgettable.

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