Bearded Women: Stories by Teresa MilbrodtBearded Women: Stories by Teresa Milbrodt

Bearded Women: Stories

byTeresa Milbrodt

Paperback | April 24, 2012

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Welcome to the contemporary Freak Show. A woman trying to have a child has a parasitic twin, an extra lower torso, and set of legs named Bianca-should she have "Bianca's Body" removed to improve her chances at conception? A bearded lady considers coming out of the closet about her hirsute nature, while carrying on a battle of wills with an overeating patron in "Mr. Chicken." A woman with four ears gets a chance to make extra money as the mascot of a tattoo parlour, and encounters a middleaged, cookiebaking stalker who believes she is a sign that the end of the world is nigh. Meet the "freaks"-they're mothers, wives, and lovers: all of them trying negotiate a world that is quicker to stare than sympathize.
Teresa Milbrodt received her MFA in Creative Writing from Bowling Green State University, and her MA in American Culture Studies from the same institution. Her stories have appeared in numerous literary journals, and several have been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. She is an Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at Western State C...
Title:Bearded Women: StoriesFormat:PaperbackDimensions:250 pages, 9 × 6 × 1 inPublished:April 24, 2012Publisher:ChiZine PublicationsLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1926851463

ISBN - 13:9781926851464

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Rated 5 out of 5 by from Read It! I picked up my copy of Bearded Women at Toronto’s Word on the Street festival last month, and finally finished it. I’m going to say right now that my slowness in finishing had absolutely nothing at all to do with the book. I got married last week, so suffice it to say that my then fiancé (now husband) and I had a lot to do, and sadly not a lot of time to read. But even with everything going on, I didn’t want to put Bearded Women down. Each story in the book is about someone who, if this were seventy or eighty years ago, would have made a living in a side show. But it isn’t seventy years ago, and each of these characters are living their lives in the 21st century and trying to get by, just like the rest of us. There’s a cyclops woman who is trying to save her family’s diner while dealing with the knowledge of a congenital disease that will eventually cause her to go blind. A modern day gorgon who has snakes for hair, but also has to work two jobs to pay for her college education while dealing with the unwanted advances of her creepy Greek mythology teacher. And a woman who is so angry at her mother and sister’s inability to get along that it literally causes her to combust. Teresa Milbrodt has created amazing, real, heartbreaking and relatable characters in this well crafted series of short stories. What I really like, as a rule, about short story collections is that you can pick them up, read one of the stories, and put it down again until you’re ready to read the next. No pressure, no worries, no rush. You’ll never be stuck in the position of staying up all night reading (even though you know your alarm is going to go off in just a few hours) because you can finish the story that you’re reading and know that the next in line will be patiently waiting for you pick up the book the next day. That was definitely not the case with Bearded Women. It took over, and I wanted to finish it. I wanted to know what character was going to be next, and what trials and tribulations they would be forced to face in their life. To me, that is the sign of a great collection of short fiction. I finished one story, then devoured the next and the next and the next and was actually irritated when I didn’t have time to read the next story. If you like short stories, and love great characters then I absolutely recommend that you pick up Bearded Women. It’s a fantastic, cathartic and very well written series of stories.
Date published: 2011-10-23