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A woman obsessed with reality TV encounters a sorority girl who has embarked on a very personal scavenger hunt. A man unexpectedly discovers that his father—a seemingly rational man—believes, seriously, in lake monsters. A woman whose husband has just survived a near-fatal accident flees to St. Petersburg, Russia, to wander through museums and palaces and simply try to forget. Hansel (yes, that Hansel), all grown up, tries to be a good father. A young girl begins to suspect that the séances being held in her basement just might not be as harmless as they seem.
These are the people and situations—where the familiar and bizarre intermix—that animate Becky Hagenston’s stories in Scavengers. From Mississippi to Arizona to Russia, characters find themselves faced with a choice: make sense of the past, or run from it. But Hagenston reminds us that even running can never be pure—so which parts of your past do you decide to hold on to? A brilliant collection from a master of short fiction, Scavengers is surprising, strange, and moving by turns—and wholly unforgettable.
Scavengers features twelve of the freshest, most inspiring pieces of short fiction I have read in years. . . . These pieces are funny and devastating, often tinged with what some call ‘magical realism,’ and yes, profoundly and beautifully strange. . . . Scavengers is short fiction done right.
—The Clarion Ledger
Becky Hagenston is the author of A Gram of Mars and Strange Weather. She is associate professor of English at Mississippi State University.