Running into Lonnie, her user friend from back in the day.
(from Philly Fiction)
Funny, warm and sad, “The Slender Nerve” rings true about the way survivors of unbalanced friendships might interact after some time and distance. I know I have some Lonnies — balls of boundless energy and wasted potential — in my past I wouldn’t like to meet in a sequel. I appreciate the linear way the narrator tries to dissect and relate to this person she once gave up on. And she relearns why they don’t hang anymore. And she can’t help but shine a harsh light on herself while counting the ways she can’t stand him. Complicated yet simple. Very nice.
Philly Fiction is the size and shape of a litmag, but appears to simple be a one-off collection. It doesn’t seem to have a web site. Here‘s a link to Amber Dorko Stopper’s site, or the blog part of it. I purchased Philly Fiction at Voices and Visions books in Old City.
Stopper is, of course, a Philly author, one whose name I’ve come across occasionally. (She’s also the former editor of the defunct literary magazine, Night Rally.) Most of “The Slender Nerve” is set in my neighborhood (Washington Ave., Morning Glory, etc.); she knows the area. So what brand of neighborhood association re-branding inspired her to refer to the Italian Market as the Ninth Street Market? I was just surprised to hear anybody bought into that is all.