Short Stories All the Time

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... a few of my thoughts about 900, mostly contemporary, short stories.
Showing posts with label Kane. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Kane. Show all posts

19 May, 2012

Jessica Francis Kane, "The Essentials of Acceleration"

An odd but intriguing story about a woman obsessed with her skillful driving. "...I maneuver my car with dexterity and precision." She's a passive aggressive forty-one year old whose father was driving when he hit a tree and caused the death of her mother when the narrator was twenty. Her mother was the one who taught her how to drive. The narrator also seems to suffer from some sort of social anxiety and tends to insult people or put them off. Her perfectionism, "I am quiet and neat. I don't keep wind chimes," is painful and she, in turn, is judgmental and unkind when she thinks about her neighbor lady, "She drives a Honda minivan as new as her latest pregnancy." The story seems to be about a woman frozen at a particular age when her mother was killed and she's over compensating by staying near and supposedly taking care of her father to prove that she doesn't blame him but she does and not dealing honestly with her emotions has caused her to manifest strange behaviors such as her obsession with driving. "The skill of driving defensively is seeing danger everywhere." An extremely interesting story and a bit odd which is my favorite type!

"The Essentials of Acceleration" was published in The Missouri Review, Spring 2012 issue. It is written in first-person POV and is about 13 pages long. Some of the incidences are laugh out loud funny.

LINKS:
Kane's web site