Title: Things To Do When You’re Goth In The Country
Author: Chavisa Woods
Page Count: 224 pages
Genre: Fiction || Short Stories
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★
Publisher: Penguin Canada
Release Date: March 16, 2017
Buy It: Chapters Indigo
The eight stories in Things to Do When You’re Goth in the Country paint a vivid image of people living on the fringes in America, people who don’t do what you might expect them to. Not stories of triumph over adversity, but something completely other.
Described in language that is brilliantly sardonic, Woods’s characters return repeatedly to places where they don’t belong—often the places where they were born. In “Zombie,” a coming-of-age story like no other, two young girls find friendship with a mysterious woman in the local cemetery. “Take the Way Home That Leads Back to Sullivan Street” describes a lesbian couple trying to repair their relationship by dropping acid at a Mensa party. In “A New Mohawk,” a man in romantic pursuit of a female political activist becomes inadvertently much more familiar with the Palestine/Israel conflict than anyone would have thought possible. And in the title story, Woods brings us into the mind of a queer goth teenager who faces ostracism from her small-town evangelical church.
In the background are the endless American wars and occupations and too many early deaths of friends and family. This is fiction that is fresh and of the moment, even as it is timeless.
What a gem of a book! This was my most interesting read of 2019. A collection of weird, wacky, strange, dark stories that touched my bizzare bone. The author focuses on rural America and features queer characters without diving into any romance, sexuality or gender. It’s done extremely well!
The first story hooked me immediately. How To Stop Smoking In Ninteen Thousand Two Hundred And Eighty Seven Seconds, Usama. This one had a slight alien-esque feel to it and I knew this was the book for me. I have been really warming up to short stories. So happy to add this to my growing collection.
When you dive into a book and explore the characters for 50 pages or so you’d think they wouldn’t connect you, you’d think they wouldn’t impact you but these characters will. You’ll recognize these characters because they are out of the bubble characters, they’re characters you may have met on your journey in life. And then dip them into some magical realism and you have Things To Do When You’re Goth In The Country!
I love exploring new types of literature and this one was fantastic! Explore UFOs, meth labs, Mensa party acid trips and more. If you love that out of body feeling like I do then you have to read this book! Woods is an excellent writer and I really want to read the rest of her stories.
Thank you Penguin Canada for sending me this awesome book in exchange for an honest review.