Jewelry Box is a collection of intimate histories, concentrated renderings of getting older, leaving, remembering. Here, history” is twinned with story,” where microcosms of daily life, drenched in the past, blossom from objects: a tube of mascara, a cat’s tail, mushroom paté. This collection explores nuances of sexuality, motherhood, and what it means to know life and tell a story.
Sheehan s (History Lessons for Girls) collection of 58 short stories features histories somewhere between flash fiction and prose poems and memoirs. Sheehan uses small moments and objects that capture the essences of larger personal histories lives made up of motherhood, writing, love, friendships, and everything in between. In Density, she makes a much-put-off telephone call to her great-aunt. The smallest gesture of sisterly tenderness is depicted in Devotion. In Suntan Lotion, a teenage girl lays on the beach with her new love interest. A young writer has dinner with her mentor and marvels at a dessert chef s ability to deliver a punchline in Joke. Rather than getting ensconced in the heavy drape of narrative, these short flares of memory allow the reader to enter Sheehan s memories as they are in her mind a jumble of moments, people, objects, and sounds as they exist before analysis and ordering.
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An Important Voice in Literature Today
Aurelie Sheehan’s writing is a reminder to observe the world more closely. Beautiful.