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Dzanc Books is nonprofit press specializing in literary fiction and nonfiction. In addition to publishing activities, Dzanc Books also supports the Disquiet International Literary Program.

Seeing Mona Naked, by Thomas Fox Averill

rEprint Series Ebooks

Seeing Mona Naked, by Thomas Fox Averill


Seeing Mona Naked, by Thomas Fox Averill

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Seeing Mona Naked defines and expands the reader’s vision of contemporary life in the heart of the Great Plains. Not just a collection of stories set in the same place but a series of portraits with the power of creating a vision of that place.


“Tom Averill has used his precise eye, marvelous ear, unique voice and a thoroughly entertaining vision to create a collection of stories about those small truths that comprise our lives.” —Carolyn Doty

From Publishers Weekly

In his second collection, Averill ( Passes at the Moon ) writes with the restlessness of a young author searching for his voice. His best stories journey over a novelistic time span: years pass while a boy-into-man narrator recalls skinny-dipping or furtively watching a neighbor girl undress. While all the tales take place in a small Kansas town and strive for a homey flavor, the finest are genuinely haunting: what begins as a father and son's night out or a boy and girl necking in a car takes on a terrifying intensity. In "Some Small Talk, Sweet Talk, from Will Parr to the World," a young couple on a first date discovers an abandoned infant in an alley; from that point on, the story becomes ever more bizarre and absorbing. In weaker pieces, the country landscape loses its allegorical depth--and the moment Averill forsakes intensity for humor, his characters become caricatures. In the facile "Spicy Food," for example, a boy's willingness to try new foods leads him into exotic love affairs, but the narrative suffers from arrested development. 
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Thomas Fox Averill is a writer, novelist, and academic from Topeka, Kansas. His works, including Secrets of the Tsil CafeThe Slow Air of Ewan Macpherson, and, more recently, Ordinary Genius, have won wide acclaim in Kansas and throughout the United States. Averill is a writer-in-residence and professor of English at Topeka’s Washburn University. Well known as a writer and teacher, Averill has published numerous works of fiction and short stories on his native Kansas and society at large.