Fiction. "What is it to be poor? Discovering an ATM's smallest withdrawal is more than the little left in your account? Counting out food stamps or working phone scams? Living in a bleak rental or a house made of 'shiplap and tarpaper and corrugated tin?' Or is it something far more subterranean and corrosive, like the backwards kindness of a grandfather who guns down stray dogs? Or is it women who, with their bodies as their only asset, believe it 'better to have a husband who beat you bloody than to be single?' And what of their daughters, of their perceived competition, such as a little girl shining 'like a scrubbed apple' before her body is found locked in ice? The question of privilege—of what it can buy, really—demands uncomfortable, often violent answers, and Jenny Irish's unflinching collection, I AM FAITHFUL, holds steady aim, writing the truth, bitter as it may be, that few understand but everyone needs to hear. Reader, witness: here, in burnished, exquisite prose, is a precise telling of class in America, a portrait of those who must compromise to survive, who scrape and save, and though acting out of the grim fury misery provides, they never, under whatever circumstance, deserve to be called 'trash.'"—Nickole Brown
Jenny Irish is from Maine and lives in Arizona. She is the author of the hybrid collections COMMON ANCESTOR and Tooth Box, and the short story collection I AM FAITHFUL. She teaches creative writing at Arizona State University and facilitates free community workshops every summer.
Author City: Tempe, AZ USA