Special/Signature Issues » Belle

Great Escapes

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"Throw Like a Girl"

by Jean Thompson

Simon & Schuster, $13

These 12 short stories range from the wickedly funny to the sadly bizarre. An anguished prepubescent threatens to behead her tormenters with a guillotine. An adulteress excels at a community college art class. An aging alcoholic gets caught up in a parade during Mexican Holy Week. You'll either relate to these stories steeped in irony and alcohol, or you'll be glad that you don't.



"There's a (Slight) Chance

I Might Be Going to Hell: A Novel of Sewer Pipes, Pageant Queens, and Big Trouble"

by Laurie Notaro

Villard, $13.95

Newbies and hard-core fans alike will love "The Idiot Girls' Action-Adventure Club" memoirist Notaro's first novel. Prepare to laugh, snort and possibly wet your pants while reading this tale.



"Rope Walk"

by Carrie Brown

Pantheon, $24

Sweet Briar professor Brown's newest novel is a languid summer picnic that marries the senses with the imagination. So understated is her lyrical prose that you will want to read absolutely anything she writes next, whether it's a new novel or a grocery list. Written from the perspective of 10-year-old Alice one summer in Vermont, "Rope Walk" borrows the best from the worlds of both a child and an adult, carrying the reader, tenderly, through a heart's first loss.



"Need More Love --

A Graphic Memoir"

by Aline Kominsky Crumb

M Q Publications, $30

A complete all-you-can-eat media buffet. Generous helpings of photos and comic strips are spiced with the now older and wiser Crumb's reflections on her wacko childhood, her drug-hazed hippy days and the state of her open marriage in the south of France with renowned cartoonist R. Crumb. Lots of drugs, sex, rock 'n' roll, and feminist art make for a nonstop ride o' fun through the blunders and successes of this Yankee-born Jew.

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