“Rebecca Miller’s debut story collection is a series of eye-opening portraits of women who are either struggling to attain self-knowledge or who are hopelessly plagued by it. . . . Miller’s prose is alarmingly unvarnished, as if she’s hovering above . . . questions of identity and desire with transcendent impartiality. . . . Miller might pretend to be detached and objective as she probes these quandaries, but she's always humane, always honest, and always entertaining.”Mark Rozzo, Los Angeles Times Book Review
978-0-8021-3918-4 • $12.00 • Paperback • Oct. 2002
The vibrantly fresh and lustrous stories in Miller’s collection explore the multifaceted lives of women in seven arresting portraits. Modern and diverse, these women of different classes and ages struggle with sexuality, fate, motherhood, infidelity, desperation, and an overriding will to survive. We meet Greta, a cookbook editor who is chosen by Tavi, the hottest writer of his generation, to edit his new book. The book becomes a best-seller and Greta is propelled out of her marriage by her own ambition and success. Other characters include Paula, a pregnant twenty-one-year-old, who is on the run from the horror of a man who was hit by a car and died while walking her home from a nightclub; Delia, an abused working-class wife who goes into hiding with her children; and Louisa, a painter who moves rapidly from one lover to the next, acting out a self-perpetuating drama over which she has no control. Edgy, fearless, and beautifully spare, Personal Velocity marks the emergence of a singular new voice in American fiction.