A Slipping-Down Life
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"Without Anne Tyler, American fiction would be an immeasurably bleaker place."
Evie Decker is a shy, slightly plump teenager, lonely and silent. But her quiet life is shattered when she hears the voice of Drumstrings Casey on the radio and becomes instantly attracted to him. She manages to meet him, bursting out of her lonely shell--and into the attentive gaze of the intangible man who becomes all too real....
From the Paperback edition.
new piece, juggling lines and bickering and giving little wheezes of disgust at each other. When it came to music, Drum always won. He had the feel for it. “What’s this talking out in the middle of a piece?” David once asked. “Where does that get you? Most of what you say is not even connected.” “I ain’t going to argue about that,” said Drum. “I just do it. If you have to ask why, you shouldn’t be here.” “Oh, all right. I don’t care.” He had the sense not to go against Drum on things like
awoke from a dream in which she slipped through slimy clay, trying to escape a reckless woman driver in an army car. It was nearly ten o’clock in the morning. The second hand of her alarm clock spun off circle after circle while she lay watching, unable to move her eyes or gather her thoughts together. A steeple bell rang. The Sunday paper slapped against the screen. Her father passed her door on his way to church, and she wondered if he would find Drum asleep in the swing. But even that was not
his face in the rear-view mirror. It was pale and shadowed. And after she had settled herself beside him he said, “I made a fool out of myself, didn’t I?” “Oh, no.” “Seems like I am just going through one of those low periods. Last Christmas we played at three different parties; this Christmas they forgot all about us.” “Maybe you need more publicity,” Evie said. “I don’t see how I can get any more. Oh, pretty soon he will fire me for Saturdays too, I can feel it coming. I will have to play
You ask me to be somebody I’m not, How can you say you’re my honey pot? “Hear that?” Fay-Jean said. Evie thought if she heard any more the noise would turn visible. She followed Fay-Jean through darkness, past rows of long tables and seated couples. Once she nearly tripped over someone’s outstretched leg. When they came to a table that had room for them, she found that a hand holding a lighted cigarette rested on the back of her chair. “Excuse me!” she shouted. Her voice disappeared as soon as
without all those C words, Nandina said. It seemed to her I was piling them on deliberately—“can” and “could,” every chance I got. “That might not be entirely coincidental,” I told her. (I spoke almost without a hitch, since she was merely my sister again.) “See what I mean? You could just as well have used ‘accidental’ there,” she said. Tiffy turned down my invitation, as it happened. She said she’d already made plans. But still, it was kind of Nandina to offer her help. I was wrong to use