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Clothed, Female Figure opens a singular investigation of women: mothers, daughters, gardeners, housecleaners, employers, aunts, nannies, friends. There are dispatches from haloed single-girl apartments in New York, from the horsetail scrubland behind the beach club, from the house behind the linden tree where the first baby was born. An overgrown back garden becomes the shrouded stage for a reunion. A Russian nanny guards a secret. A new wife subverts housekeeping to outflank her mother-in-law. An alcoholic daughter is haunted by her mother’s disappearance.
Through ten independent but thematically linked stories, Allio conjures women in conflict and on the edge, who embrace, battle, and transcend their domestic dimensions.
Kirstin Allio's novel, Garner, was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for First Fiction. She is a recipient of the National Book Foundation's 5 Under 35 award, a PEN/O. Henry prize, and other honors for her short stories and essays. She lives in Providence, RI with her husband and sons.