Set mainly in the small towns of Alabama, the stories in Her Kind of Want ache with the relentless longing of the poor, struggling, usually discarded southern women who tell us their lives—lives that seem to revolve around men whose only presence is their absence.
Bebe, Luna, Melly, Little Hula, Dena. These are just a few of the women we meet in Jennifer Davis's award-winning collection. Women who married too fast, had children too young, and drink too much. Yet beneath their unpolished exteriors, these women are flesh and blood, and their wants and needs are as severe and deep as any.
Davis's characters relate their stories in voices as complex and raw as their southern environment. Each tale may sound slightly familiar—an unwanted pregnancy, a fast car flying down a country road—but Davis moves beyond the familiar stories of the rural South to expose the gaps that connect these women, creating startlingly real and vibrant characters.
Although often bleak and sometimes disturbing, Her Kind of Want is a celebration of southern people, their perseverance, their spirit, and their determination to make the ugly beautiful.
“In Her Kind of Want, Jennifer Davis has written a marvelous collection of short stories. She grabs your attention quickly, and once she has it, she won't turn loose. These characters matter. A very fine debut—and one that promises a distinguished career.” —Steve Yarbrough, author of Visible Spirits
“Davis' character's are riveting, her dialogue is colorful, her writing is exquisite . . . the level of skill is extraordinary.”—Booklist
“Jennifer Davis writes like a magician. She writes of the ordinary and the amazing with equal precision, making us believe there is no difference between the two. She catches us up between her heartache for and her terror of the South, until the most northern among us think we were born there. She leaves us breathless and amazed—saddened, hopeful, wanting only more.” —Pam Houston, author of Cowboys Are My Weakness
“The nine stories in Her Kind of Want are sassy and honest, tender and tough. Jennifer Davis takes you on a roller-coaster ride of the Deep South with its beautiful, misunderstood young women scooched up right beside you, holding on for dear life.” —Patricia Henley, author of Hummingbird House
“Davis' subject matter—the outsized longings and bitter disappointments of small-town people—may feel familiar, but her characters never whine, never irritate. . . . The magical prose makes each speaker and each story urgent. And, even when the subject is cancer (“Some Things Collide”) the stories end on grace notes, on images of the sun, or . . . images similar to the best of Flannery O'Connor's most startling endings.”—Denise Gess for The Raleigh News and Observer