Souvenir Essay

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Edwards examines the tone of the stories in Black Tickets, concluding that Phillips is at her best when portraying ordinary family life.

When she cares to invoke it, Jayne Anne Phillips also has a strong sense of place (Appalachia, in her case), and she could never be accused of saying too much. More than half the stories in Black Tickets run to a page or less, and the longer ones have no fat on them. Compared with [Scott] Spencer and [Al-ice] Munro, who work coolly, well within the limits of their means, Phillips writes with noticeable power, even violence, so that her brevity seems more a matter of conscious self-discipline than of natural sensibility.

Her usual fictional material, as it happens, calls for self-discipline. Consider the remarkable "Under the Board Walk," a sketch of only five paragraphs. "Her name is Joyce Castro," it flatly begins, "and she...

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This section contains 1,060 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Souvenir Study Guide
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Souvenir from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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