Posted in Short Stories

Gurney Norman: Maxine

Deal Me In 2020 – Week 52

“What I want to see is the Grand Canyon,” said Wilgus.

“Lord, honey, don’t take me to no canyons,” said Maxine. “If I’s at a canyon I’d dive off head first into the damn thing and be done with it.”

Gurney Norman’s short story “Maxine” might be a good one with which to finish Home and Beyond: An Anthology of Kentucky Short Stories edited by Morris Allen Grubbs. It’s another “snippet” of life in which Maxine gets picked up by her cousin Wilgus after visiting her daughter in Detroit. She didn’t have a good time and she unloads it all on Wilgus who willingly listens and willingly buys her a bottle of wine.

The story is nice and short and portrays the frustration Maxine has with her life and her home and her family. But it seems her ability and opportunity to tell it all to Wilgus lets her get everything off her mind and as she goes to bed that night, the reader gets the impression that maybe tomorrow will be a new day.

And the bottle of wine might have helped, too.

I read this story when I selected the Five of Diamonds for Week 52 of my Deal Me In 2020 short story project. Check out my Deal Me In 2020 list here. Deal Me In is hosted by Jay at Bibliophilopolis. My favorite story in this anthology is “Yours” by Joe Ashby Porter. Others include “Blackberry Winter” by Robert Penn Warren, “The Gift” by Janice Holt Giles and “Humming Back Yesterday” by Crystal Wilkinson.

2 thoughts on “Gurney Norman: Maxine

  1. Hi Dale,
    Congrats on wrapping up DMI 2020. I need to write a sign up post for those who want to carry the banner into 2021. I have a deck prepared for myself already, but I’m not sure how often I’ll be blogging next year. Retirement (at least from my current job) is looming in 1Q or 2Q 2021, though, so maybe I’ll take up regular blogging again. I’m thinking about starting another blog too, based on my chess-related travels and adventures. It would be for more of a chessplaying audience, though. Happy Holidays and hope all is well with you and your family!
    -Jay

    1. Hi Jay,
      Thanks! I managed to finish a bunch of anthologies. I’ve got some new ones for 2021. I’ll end up posting my list sometime before the end of the year.

      Congrats on your pending retirement! I’ve enjoyed reading your posts about the books and stories you’ve read and would look forward to more posts about books. However, if you start a blog about chess, I will follow and read and like those posts, too. I just might not be able to comment as much – or at least not very knowledgably. So far all is well with my family. Happy Holidays to you, too!
      -Dale

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