Kill Us On the Way Home
Six short stories of where and how life moves ever forward, with or without the person living it. Birds and amputees and hot dog vendors go in circles. The cars all still run but can't seem to leave town. Beatty pulls gum from under the park bench and you chew for what seems like forever before finally swallowing, the thing stuck between your ribs like your mother always warned you it would.
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"Gwen Beatty is like a Midwestern Flannery O'Connor. By turns hilarious, horrifying, and moving, the stories in Kill Us on the Way Home force the reader to confront a Midwest that is dark, dying, and inescapable. In sharp, witty prose, Beatty takes us deep into the psyches of characters who are lost, mean, and imperfect, but above all real. As they aimlessly drive country roads, shoot seagulls out of boredom, fake pregnancies, and fall in love at hot dog stands, they live their lives with an askew sense of conviction. They may not know where to go or how to get there, but that doesn't mean they don't try, and Beatty treats even her most unforgivable characters with dignity and sympathy. Reading this book feels crucial: Beatty unearths the stories of people who would evaporate, unheard, without her."
-Megan Martin, author of Nevers