Deadheading & Other Stories by Beth Gilstrap is a collection of short stories, focused specifically on women in the American South. From the first story, “Earth Eating As Suppression,” I was drawn in. The ending was so shocking, I knew I had to keep reading every story in this collection.
Some of them are quite short, only a page or less, whereas others take up more space. Each one provides a glimpse at a life, the struggles, hardships, grief, and emotional labor that each character experiences. For some we get more context and background, others, just a quick snapshot. Regardless, it’s easy to see the reality of each story, and how they all paint a picture of what real life is like for many.
I took my time reading this collection, and am glad that I did. I was able to sit with these stories instead of rushing through them, which allowed me to appreciate the writing, and the level of detail and emotion, so much more. All of them could be quickly read, but taking my time made the experience so much better.
If you’re looking for a collection of short stories and vignettes packed full of emotion, I highly recommend this one. As with all collections, some were fine, but others will stay with me for a while.
Thank you so much to the publisher, Red Hen Press, and the publicist for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review. Deadheading & Other Stories by Beth Gilstrap came out on October 3, 2021.