SHORT STORIES

Fight No More: Stories

Norton. Jun. 2018. 176p. ISBN 9780393635485. $24.95; ebk. ISBN 9780393635485. F
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OrangeReviewStarShowing a high-end California house to a man she assumes to be an African dictator, brisk, self-contained real estate agent Nina is shaken when the man plunges into the pool and must be revived by paramedics. She learns that he's actually a musician, with his presumed bodyguards his band members, and in the course of this wise and witty new collection—Millet's first since the Pulitzer Prize finalist Love in Infant Monkeys—she connects with one of the musicians, though her love is slammed by tragedy. Connection is the key throughout, as these stories interlock like the veins in a leaf. For instance, we keep meeting troubled teen Jem, who slyly disrupts Nina's showing of his divorced mother's house and gets abused teen Lexie, whom he's met via cybersex, a babysitting job with his father and stepmother. Jem grows over these pages, genuinely helping Lexie and his sharp-witted if ailing gram, no slouch herself. Meanwhile, Nina contends with a client who thinks she has dwarves in the attic.
VERDICT Top-notch, in-your-face work from the priceless Millet. [See Prepub Alert, 12/11/17.]

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