Random House - 2001
What's it About?
This is a collection of short stories, celebrating, well, ordinary life, which I believe is never ordinary at all. The title story, my favorite, features a 79-year old woman who locks herself up in the bathroom intending not to come out for a week or so. She has some food, some magazines, and pillows and blankets for sleeping in the tub. Her husband Al is beside himself at first, but then cooperates with her, at least to some extent. She uses the time for that rarest of things, simply thinking, without interruption.
Other stories feature a thief who robs a woman of something entirely unexpected, a woman who asks her husband to take a quiz with her and gets more information than she bargained for, and "Martin's Letter to Nan," a response from the husband in another novel called The Pull of the Moon.
What was the inspiration?
Whenever I write a story, I'm never sure how it will turn out. So this book is a collection of what ifs, where I take an idea or a character and just see where it goes.
A random quote from the book
"Mavis washes her face, brushes her teeth, then sits down at the edge of the tub with the box of Wheat Thins. She'd like a cup of coffee; she can smell it from Al having made it earlier. But if she goes out into the rest of the house, she'll lose what she's started here. She'll see the dust on the coffee table, the morning paper lying messy on the kitchen table. The phone will ring, and she’ll answer it. No. She will stay here."