Jim Henry


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Motherhurt -- Gladys Knows -- The Flood -- Congressman Spoonbender -- The Earthling! -- The Prodigal Corpse -- Observer Status -- Jesus -- The Main Event -- The Last of the Plaids -- "Yes!" Wins -- Mouthfeel


Jim Henry's stories defy convention. There are no easy answers, no quick fixes. Although the plots vary—from a corpse returning to visit his family weeks after his burial, to the musings of a congressman grappling with the weight of history, to a wealthy family's elaborate plot to cheer their mysteriously wounded mother—all express a sense of the extraordinary in the ordinary, the absurd in the everyday. Henry's characters are for the most part misfits, outsiders looking in on a world whose seemingly natural order is turned upside down. In a throw-away culture obsessed with sex and drugs, money and God, they struggle to connect with what is real while trying to convince themselves that anything is. And yet in the midst of their existential searching there remains always Henry's quirky sense of humor. As one character says, “Anything is possible,” and in this collection anything and everything happens.

Series Title

Iowa Short Fiction Award

Award Date



Beattie, Ann

Publication Date



University of Iowa Press


Iowa City

Total Pages


ISBN of Print Version



Copyright © 2000 by Jim Henry. No part of this book may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying or recording, without permission in writing from the publisher.