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One Day in the Life of a Born Again Loser and Other Stories, One Day in the Life of a Born Again Loser and Other Stories, 0817310290, 0-8173-1029-0, 978-0-8173-1029-5, 9780817310295, , , One Day in the Life of a Born Again Loser and Other Stories, 0817310916, 0-8173-1091-6, 978-0-8173-1091-2, 9780817310912,

One Day in the Life of a Born Again Loser and Other Stories
by Helen Norris

Trade Cloth
2000. 216 pp.
Price:  $34.95 s
Quality Paper
2000. 208 pp.
Price:  $19.95 s

Theron Estes, upon returning home from a 90-day stint in jail, is  dismayed to find his two young daughters home alone and a cryptic note from his wife: "I had enuff its your turn." Thus begins the title story of Helen Norris's new collection, a funny yet pathos-filled tale of Theron's bizarre attempt to secure Christmas dinner for his girls.

Norris is one of the most distinctive voices in contemporary American fiction. Over a lifetime, she has developed a distinctive style and mastered the short-story form. With an impressive range, she invents and inhabits the worlds of a memorable set of characters both young and old, with authority, sharp insight, and great wit. Her wonderful older women, having found that everyone else's reality has nothing to offer them, claim the right to create their own. Troubled young couples mean well but find themselves heading down bewildering paths. Norris's stories are complex, at turns wry and poignant, playful and amusing, haunting and mythical. A few of these stories are traditionally southern in setting and theme, but Norris works well beyond the boundaries of regionalism, writing stories rooted in contemporary concerns and set in imagined places both rural and urban.


Helen Norris has published four novels: More than Seven Watchmen, Walk with the Sickle Moon, Something More Than Earch, and For the Glory of God; and three previous short story collections: The Christmas Wife (a PEN/Faulkner finalist), Water into Wine, and The Burning Glass. She is the recipient of four O. Henry Awards, two Andrew Lytle Fiction Awards, and a Pushcart Prize. Her story "The Cracker Man" was adapted for the PBS series American Stories, and "The Christmas Wife" was adapted into an HBO movie. The Poet Laureate of Alabama from 1999-2003, Norris lives in Montgomery.

"Helen Norris is one of our best and brightest story writers. It should be no surprise that One Day in the Life of a Born Again Loser and Other Stories is a wonderful collection, rich and various and shining with the light only a true artist can create, the pleasure only the finest writers can offer." —George Garrett, author of the Death of the Fox trilogy and Double Vision

"A prize-winning fiction writer and current poet laureate of Alabama, Norris (The Christmas Wife) offers up nine stories, many resplendent with traditional Southern styles and themes, but most transcending the boundaries of regionalism, through powerful symbolism, a canny and touching understanding of human frailty and uproariously funny moments. "The Flying Hawk" is an uproarious account of a spunky old librarian taking a reluctant high school boy on a quest for the sight of a famous historic inn. "[T]he hounds came from under a bush and jumped all over the side of the truck. Miss Pott's lips were set in a smile, as if she enjoyed a good barking at." In the emotionally crushing "The Bower-Bird," Will Geer, a Vietnam vet at loose ends, tries to contact an old army buddy, only to be caught in a web of deception and desperation when a strange, lonely woman posing as the friend's sister informs Will that his friend is dead. "Tutankhamen Calhoun" tells of a dying mill owner who tries to outwit his scavenging relatives with the help of a charlatan minister who may well be the Devil....These are good country people who would make Flannery O'Connor proud, and Norris makes them bitterly, or hilariously, real with her comic genius, emotional depth and elegant, direct prose." --Publishers Weekly

Often quirky and occasionally poignant, these narratives give us a peek into a host of interesting lives. --Peter Khoury in The New York Times Book Review

2002 Alabama Library Author Award, sponsored by Alabama Library Association
2000 Harper Lee Award for the Distinguished Alabama Writer, sponsored by Alabama Writers Forum

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