Give Me Your Answer by K. D. MillerGive Me Your Answer by K. D. Miller

Give Me Your Answer

byK. D. Miller

Paperback | September 15, 1999

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`I was never a child,' asserts K.D. Miller, author of two collections of short fiction from The Porcupine's Quill. `Or at least, the child in me was ``killed'' sometime before my conscious memory kicks in.' No particular traumatic event or series of events brought this about, Miller says. In fact, her childhood sounds boringly routine. Miller grew up in Hamilton, Ontario in the 1950's world of housewives and breadwinners, of pink plastic radios in the kitchen and workbenches in the basement, of fathers who hardly spoke and mothers who couldn't stop talking. All of this finds its way into her stories, along with the feeling `of being different, of not quite fitting in, of being here on sufferance,' and the distinct sense that `the world could be a dark and menacing place.'

In `The Other Voice', the story that begins Give Me Your Answer, the child witnesses the aftermath of a car accident in which a child was hit, maybe killed. She can tell that the woman who `sings' about how sad it is isn't sad at all, more gloating at the punishment meted out to errant child and careless adult, both `getting what's coming to them' in an Old Testament, righteous kind of way. The `other voice' of the title is the little girl's own voice, blunt with reality, almost unrecognized as her own, that gives the lie to the innocence of children.

Of her influences Miller says, `I've always been attracted to anything Gothic. As a child I must have read Jane Eyre about eleven times, and I was morbidly fascinated by the works of Poe. I still love the southern Gothic writers: Eudora Welty ... Tennessee Williams, Flannery O'Connor.' Margaret Laurence was an early, powerful influence. `When I first began to think of myself as a writer, I got cartloads of permission from Margaret Laurence. Permission to write, permission to think of myself as a writer, permission to pause and dwell on what is small and ordinary.' Miller remembers reading Laurence's A Bird in the House and suddenly realizing it was all right to write about everyday things, `the way the light came in the mother's window,' and make it special. And indeed Miller's stories are full of the small details that render an ordinary scene significant.

K.D. Miller's stories and essays have appeared in numerous magazines and have been nominated for the Journey Prize and the National Magazine Award for fiction (1997). In 1999 she was a runner-up in the PRISM international short fiction contest. Two collections of her stories have been published -- A Litany in Time of Plague (PQL 1994),...
Title:Give Me Your AnswerFormat:PaperbackDimensions:252 pages, 8.7 × 5.56 × 0.75 inPublished:September 15, 1999Publisher:Porcupine's QuillLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0889842086

ISBN - 13:9780889842083

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Rated 4 out of 5 by from Almost a tragedy I came across this book purely by chance at a bookstore at one of the new fiction desks. The pale blue cover took in interest, as did the a-la-Alice-Munro type synopsis on the back of the cover. These are truly inter-related short stories, however you could probably just pick one out of the book & read it as a short story. If you do that, though, you miss details & important history of the character, Daisy & her experiences. Very uncanny how the first and last chapters are very much connected, in a way I did not predict at all. There are some great stories here, the episodes of this woman's life, growing up. Especially in the story of her and her childhood friend, "The Seven Solemn Vows Of Friendship", and seeing her again as an adult years later or in "Half in Love" & her reaction to half-way relationships with "half-way men". I found myself nodding in agreement, as I saw myself in Daisy one too many times in Miller's stories.
Date published: 2000-03-05

From Our Editors

The 12 stories contained in this book trace Daisy Chandler’s life from childhood to marriage and then divorce. They also show her struggles in the life of a protagonist. With her life evolving from the 1950s to the millennium, she tries to understand her family, friends, lover and herself. Give Me Your Answer engages and interests any reader who is interested in KD Miller’s tremendous talent.

Editorial Reviews

`... I found myself laughing frequently.... Miller takes the right turns and sustains her narratives without tricks or complications ... if K.D. Miller can evoke such feelings in a first collection, I am certainly looking forward to her second.'