In this dazzling literary debut, Rebecca Curtis displays the gifts that make her one of the most talented writers of her generation. Her characters—young women struggling to find happiness, love, success, security, and adventure—wait tables, run away from home, fall for married men, betray their friends, and find themselves betrayed as well.
In "Hungry Self," a young waitress descends into the basement of a seemingly ordinary Chinese restaurant; in "Twenty Grand," a young wife tries to recover her lost fortune; in "Monsters," one family's paranoia leads to a sacrifice; and in "The Witches," an innocent swim on prom night proves more dangerous than anyone could have imagined. With elegant prose and a wicked sense of humor, these stories reveal Curtis's provocative and uncompromising view of life, one that makes her writing so poignant and irresistible.
Not long ago, in a conversation with my father, I described a person I knew by saying he had an edge. It quickly became clear that my father assumed my description was a criticism when in fact I'd meant it in a positive way. I was reminded of this conversation while reading Rebecca Curtis's debut story collection, Twenty Grand. Curtis's stories, almost all of them first published in The New Yorker and other literary magazines, definitely have an edge. I'm pretty sure my father would find them weird and depressing. I think they're terrific.