When Jill McCorkle feels a short story coming on, she goes right ahead and “wastes” wonderful ideas instead of hoarding them for a novel. The result is another extraordinary collection of stories and characters. In “It’s a Funeral! RSVP,” the storyteller is a woman who takes up self-styled “careers” that suit her circumstances. Now she’s stumbled onto one that’s so successful that she just can’t quit. It’s planning funerals, what she calls Going Out Parties, in which the clients are the soon-to-be-deceased themselves. In “Life Prerecorded,” perhaps McCorkle’s finest short piece to date, the pregnant narrator finds the real meaning of new life by visiting with a very old neighbor who’s waiting, too, for his own new life. In these and the rest of the nine stories, Jill McCorkle acts on her penchant for taming the outrageous, humanizing the forbidden, and grounding the hilarious.
“With titles such as “Dysfunction 101,” “Your Husband Is Cheating on Us,” and “It’s a Funeral! RSVP,” it’s clear that when you open Jill McCorkle’s Final Vinyl Days, you’re not signing up for Remembrance of Things Past. Still, if Proust grew up in the newly air-conditioned South, listening to Marvin Gaye and sneaking contraband cigarettes in the local graveyard, who knows, he might have produced tales like these… only McCorkle could shine a light into these dark corners of the human heart with such good grace and wit.” —Amazon
“It’s part of McCorkle’s gift as a storyteller how quickly we’re drawn into the world of her characters.” —Chicago Tribune
You can buy Final Vinyl Days in print at AMAZON, BARNES & NOBLE, INDIEBOUND, and POWELL’S.