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Where the time goes /
R.D. Skillings.
Hanover, N.H. : University Press of New England, 1999.
xii, 168 p. ; 22 cm.
087451939X (pbk. : alk. paper)
More Details
series title
Hanover, N.H. : University Press of New England, 1999.
087451939X (pbk. : alk. paper)
catalogue key
A Look Inside
About the Author
Author Affiliation
R. D. Skillings is also author of In a Murderous Time (1984) and Alternative Lives (1974). He lives with his wife and daughter in Provincetown, Massachusetts, where he has been a member of the Fine Arts Work Center since 1969.
First Chapter

Chapter One

That's P-town

* * *

A guy came in Silk & Feathers the other day, he cruised around a while, then he took something off the rack and went in the dressing room to try it on.

    When he came out he went right up to me and said, "How does this look?"

    He had a skirt on sideways with his prick hanging out where the zipper was.

    I said, "You're acting out. You can't come in here if you're going to act out. I'll have to call the police if you keep on acting out."

    He said, "Acting out? What do you mean acting out?"

    I said, "If you drip on that you just bought it."

    I mean, this is a dress shop. What was a man doing in here anyway?

Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Publishers Weekly on 1999-07-12:
P-town, aka Provincetown, Mass., is the common ground of the dozens of motley characters in Skillings's beguiling fourth book of short stories. Skillings, who charted the same small-town's down-and-outers in P-town Stories: or, The Meatrack (1980), puts inventive, colloquial language to satisfying use in these innovative and darkly humorous tales. Successfully employing a wide range of voices, forms and lengths (entries vary from one paragraph to several pages), he describes alcoholics falling off the wagon, gay men struggling with coming out and the havoc wreaked by AIDS. Everyone rails against conformity, including Kyle, the little boy with two mommies in "Sandbox," who has decided that he "prefers to be a girl." In "Coughlan Dice at His Closet Window," the narrator's glee at a young townie's ignominious retreat back to P-town from MIT is tinged with obvious envy as he comments, "they're [P-towners] glad to have their born faith confirmed that there's nothing up there beyond the bridge, nothing worth leaving town for." Those who stay in town battle their demons with strength, wit and a strong sense of the absurd, heading all the while for catharsis: solutions are elusive and almost always unexpected. One panacea, at least, is prescribed in "Op Ed," a cheeky take on Swift's "A Modest Proposal," in which the narrator advocates masturbation as the precursor to a reign of "joy and kindness." (Aug.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
This item was reviewed in:
Publishers Weekly, July 1999
Booklist, August 1999
Kirkus Reviews, August 1999
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Unpaid Annotation
The first new book in over a decade by an innovative master of short fiction.
Unpaid Annotation
Three previous works, including the popular P-town Stories (or the meatrack) (1980), established R. D. Skillings as "a strong, vital writer, attempting to expand the territory of an infinitely malleable form" (Publishers Weekly). His compact brevity, stark lyricism of the spoken word, and urgent monologues of inner lives recall intense bar-talk or tableaux glimpsed in teeming streets.From a writer with a cult following, a new book after a long silence constitutes an important event. These stories build upon P-town Stories, once again displaying a variety of incidents and voices: aging artists and writers warily eyeing the next generation, locals rubbed wrong by the summer influx of urbane strangers, a Portuguese native extolling a recipe for hot dog stew, a feisty mother bemused by the p.c. wars, inveterate hedonists of every stripe, diehard fishermen, mavericks, jacks-of-all-trades exiled by high rents, the overarching catastrophe of AIDS.
Table of Contents
That's P-townp. 1
Breakfast Anyone?p. 2
The Linep. 3
Coughlan Dice at His Closet Windowp. 8
Among the Condo Dwellersp. 11
Job Opsp. 13
Czezarley Zoo Gets Outp. 19
The Sandboxp. 24
The Way Things Arep. 28
Paintp. 30
Tabletalkp. 51
All These Yearsp. 54
The Spiritus Stepp. 56
Drugsp. 59
February Truthp. 60
Theatre of the Realp. 62
At Leastp. 66
The Losersp. 69
Ghostsp. 71
The Presentp. 73
Scenesp. 78
The Best Thingp. 79
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

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