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Everyday Psychokillers: A History for Girls
Everyday Psychokillers: A History for Girls

by Lucy Corin

Not really a history of anything except of a girl growing up in hard times. Choosing a title like this one may get Corin-an English professor and occasional storywriter-more attention than she might otherwise get, and that's mostly a good thing. This first novel isn't overtly about serial killers but is more interested in girls, one in particular, who lives in a small Florida town. It's a swampy, hot place where there isn't much work-the girl's mother mucks out stalls, kids are always leaving to go to Miami Beach and sell drugs-and even less to do. Corin fills her pages with the girl's observations of this world that envelops her like a humid sponge as she drifts in and out of different personas and muses constantly on the threatening forces that seem to always be encroaching. The most constant dread, born of tabloid news and true-crime books, is of serial killers, the Ted Bundys of the world, who prey on girls like Corin's narrator, the ones always described as innocent ("To point to something and call it innocent is to suggest that it won't be around for long, or that it's so stupid nothing will ever get through, no matter how awful. No one says innocent unless they mean doomed"). By book's end, the girl has morphed into an adult of sorts, without purpose, living in a nameless midwestern town, someone on the verge of becoming a killer herself. Corin's language is hot and pulsating, and she paints her pages with an intensity that doesn't always seem right, considering how abstracted and occasionally pretentious the story becomes. Nevertheless, her debut is worthy of note for what it tries to portray: the interior life of a girl, vulnerable like all the others, in a predatory society.Superbly evocative, though with several notable rough spots. Agent: Alison Bond

Pub. Date: February 2004 Publisher: University of Alabama Press Format: Paperback, 223pp

Item: 157366112

Price: $19.95


   

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