We Are Taking Only What We Need

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9781886157798: We Are Taking Only What We Need
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Fiction. African American Studies. African American women protagonists lose and find love, confront sanity and craziness, and strive to make sense of their lives in North Carolina. A Jehovah's Witness girl goes door-to-door with an expert field-service partner from up north. At a call center, operator Sheila fields a caller's uncomfortable questions under a ruthless supervisor's eye. Forty-something Aunt Ginny surprises the family by finding a husband, but soon she gives them more to talk about. Pulitzer-Prize winner Edward P. Jones writes "Watts offers an impressive debut that promises only wonderful work to come." Fiction writer Marly Swick agrees: "Each story seems, at the same time, to be a breath of fresh air and an instant classic." Author Alyce Miller notes that "Watts writes with a penetrating eye for the extraordinary moments in the lives of ordinary people. As I read, I found myself holding my breath."

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From the Inside Flap:

The characters in each of these carefully wrought stories are richly delineated, and leap from the page. Real people who live in real places, with voices that are unforgettable. From quirky Sheila who works as a phone operator at the dog registry to the young narrator in the gorgeously bleak title story discovering her father's mistakes, Stephanie Powell Watts writes with a penetrating eye for the extraordinary moments in the lives of ordinary people. As I read, I found myself holding my breath.Alyce Miller This debut collection is stunningly pitch-perfect; these voices will remain alive in your head long after you've shut the cover of We Are Taking Only What We Need. Each story seems, at the same time, to be a breath of fresh air and an instant classic. There is nothing skimpy or faint-hearted in this collection; the stories are full-bodied and whole-hearted. Stephanie Powell Watts writes with spunk, eloquence, and grace.Marly Swick Stephanie Powell Watts offers an impressive debut that promises only wonderful work to come. Read your way to the line "these dogs didn't bother to bond with us, but stuck out their paws not to shake hands but so we could slit their wrists and get it the hell over with" -- and then continue reading to the book's end. So much current fiction has an unreal, "made-up" tone that could exist only in someone's awfully fanciful imagination. Watts shows us people, real souls like the people we sit next to on the bus, people who live down hall, people who could be relatives.Edward P. Jones

About the Author:

Stephanie Powell Watts teaches at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. "Unassigned Territory" from this collection received the Pushcart Prize and a citation from Best American Short Stories. Two stories from the book appeared in Best New Stories from the South anthologies. Watts's work has appeared in Oxford American, New Letters, African American Review, and elsewhere. A former Jehovah's Witness minister born and raised in Lenoir, North Carolina, she holds the PhD from the University of Missouri-Columbia. She has received the Southern Women Writers Conference's emerging writer of the year award in fiction.

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