Victoria Redel has been awarded the 2014 Devil’s Kitchen Reading Award in Prose for Make Me Do Things.
Make Me Do Things
In eleven original, surprising and deliciously dark stories, award-winning author Victoria Redel moves effortlessly between men’s and women’s perspectives as they explore marriage, divorce and parenthood. A newly divorced mother stumbles her way back into single life. A young man and his girlfriend clean out his dead mother’s overstuffed home. A woman struggles to hide her affair from a doting husband and inquisitive daughter. A man descends into a drug-fueled dream as he imagines losing his pregnant wife to a historical, nineteenth century figure.
Redel indelibly captures the ways we love, the ways we yearn and the ways we sabotage each. Throughout the collection, children struggle to make sense of the adult world’s uncertainties as husbands and wives, mothers and fathers, find themselves pressed up against their own limits, “the exaltations and treasons of one’s own mothy heart.” Redel has again done what Grace Paley said of Redel’s first collection, “Only a poet could have written this prose. Only a storyteller could keep a reader turning these pages so greedily.”
From “Ahoy,” a story from Make Me Do Things:
This is the story of the year my wife became the sea captain’s wife and carried his child, a child that is by all rights mine.
It’s insane but she’s almost more beautiful in the bonnet and linen-spun gown she walks through town wearing on her way to and from the Captain’s house.
I can’t imagine how this must sound.
If you’re married, I’m counting on you having at least come to the minor revelation of how little we know inside another marriage. And maybe, wherever you are in your own marriage–crossing a rainy parking lot on your way to the office or coming at night to your front door–with a sharp, embarrassed flash or a longing you can’t quite name, you’ve wondered what you really know about the house you’re about to enter, about your own marriage?