by Julie HaleAugust, 2003
I, Rhoda Manning, Go Hunting with My Daddy
With this wonderfully resonant collection, Gilchrist once again proves herself mistress of the short story genre. Rhoda Manning, a recurring character for the author, returns in half of the stories in this volume. Now 65, she reminisces about her Southern upbringing, her macho father, Big Dudley, and her three stubborn sons. In the title story, she appears as a 5-year-old who equipped with a B B gun accompanies Dudley on a hunting excursion. The high schoolers Gilchrist writes about in "The Abortion" must make some difficult decisions, while the gay hair stylist in "Remorse" mourns the loss of his best friend. Set in a variety of locales, from Arkansas to Wyoming, these stories offer a wide range of memorable characters, including a group of Islamic terrorists, and Gilchrist writes masterfully about them all. This is an expert collection of short stories from a beloved Southern author.