Bad Kansas (Kobo eBook)
The eleven stories in this Flannery O’Connor Award-winning collection explore Midwestern life “with heart and precision, and a fresh sense of humor” (Pam Houston, author of Contents May Have Shifted).
These beautifully crafted stories reveal the complicated underbelly of the country’s most flown-over state and the quirky characters that call it home. In this darkly humorous collection, Kansas becomes a state of mind as Mandelbaum’s characters struggle to define their relationship to home and what it means to stay or leave, to hold on or let go.
When a desperately lonely woman finds herself on a bad date with a rugged man, she must decide whether to sacrifice the life of a bear in order to keep the man’s affection. After having a nightmare about a mallard, a young man wakes to discover he’s choking the woman he loves. When his mother starts dating a slimy pizza parlor owner, a young boy must carefully consider his loyalties. The appealing and peculiar characters in Bad Kansas are determined to get what they want, be it love or sex or power, in a world determined to overlook them.