A Woman Named Drown by Padgett Powell

By Padgett Powell

Hailed by way of Time as an “extravagantly comic” novel, a girl Named Drown is a wild and weird trip via America’s South that follows a tender PhD dropout who falls in with an beginner actress–cum-pool shark

On the edge of incomes his doctorate in chemistry, the unnamed narrator makes a decision to chuck all of it away in prefer of genuine lifestyles. So starts a wierd pilgrimage during the American South. In Tennessee, our hero is bewitched through an older, gin-swilling, pool-playing sometimes-actress who claims to have lately starred in a theatrical construction a couple of “woman named Drown.” He strikes in along with her and simply as speedy starts encountering her unusual compatriots. prior to he is familiar with it, they’re heading farther south together—to Florida—where the knowledge that the dropout scientist is amassing from life’s laboratory is ready to get particularly contradictory.

Richly prompted through offbeat literary significant Donald Barthelme, Padgett Powell’s a lady Named Drown bargains readers a smorgasbord of literary strangeness—a surreal sequence of adventures within which not anything much—and but everything—happens right away.

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Turley’s face pinched and he squinched one eye, scratching his furry, Chia Pet head. ” “I don’t know, Turley. ” “Good point, Charlie,” Turley said with a laugh. ” I said. ” Turley turned sideways, pointing to a line of skinny, bare birches at the back end of a blue brick building that was tagged with graffiti and cordoned off with yellow police tape. “Waitress went out for a smoke, found the body in the wastewater runoff. Ligature marks—that means he was strangled—face bashed in pretty good. ” Even Charlie seemed taken aback by my question.

They were calling for an even bigger storm to roll in next week, a real Nor’easter. Trace flurries drifted down, floating aimlessly, catching the glint of the sun’s rays. I watched my breath crystalize in front of me. I pulled around the front of Hank’s to fill up. Would run me close to sixty-five dollars, thing sucked so much gas. The floor of my cab was littered with crinkled receipts and stiff papers, empty coffee cups and crushed cigarette packs, Gatorade bottles, fast food bags; the inside of my ride looked like a refugee camp.

I switched over to the other line. It was dead. CHAPTER SIX Three squad cars, about half of Ashton’s entire fleet, were parked helterskelter beside an ambulance with its rear doors flung open at the far end of the Travel Center lot where the semis regularly lined up and rested for the night. Currently, there were half a dozen tractor-trailers stacked up there, nose to bumper, drivers either still asleep in their cabs or else stocking up inside before heading back out on the trail. The sprawling facility had every accessory and accommodation for a trucker’s needs.

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