Home Remedies
The quietly desperate girls who slouch and grimace and pray through Angela Pneuman's pitch-perfect debut story collection, Home Remedies (Harcourt), live in Bible Belt Kentucky and have names like Priscilla and Shiloh and Laeticia. They have mothers who suck the air out of a room and keen about love ("conventionally handsome men should come with disaster kits"), best friends as benign as scorpions, and fathers who are absent or dying or crazed. With her dark sense of humor and almost eerie apprehension of what people are too clenched to say, Pneuman is a stunning new talent to watch.

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