Ellen Gilchrist

Victory Over Japan

Originally published in 1984, this collection of 14 short stories set in Arkansas and Mississippi went on to win that year’s National Book Award for fiction, confirming Ellen Gilchrist’s place as one of the preeminent literary talents of her generation. Victory Over Japan takes us into the lives of an unforgettable group of Southern women — beautiful, complicated, enchanting, and sometimes dangerous — in and out of bars, marriages, divorces, lovers' arms, and even earthquakes, in an attempt to find happiness, or at least some satisfaction. Throughout these stories, one hears echoes of Flannery O'Connor and Eudora Welty, but Ms. Gilchrist has her own unique literary voice, and it is outrageously funny, moving, tragic, and always appealing.
“To say that Ellen Gilchrist can write is to say that Placido Domingo can sing. All you need to do is listen.” —Jonathan Yardley, The Washington Post
“She is what they call a natural, writing with passion, authority and a noticeable lack of the self-consciousness that weighs down much of contemporary fiction.” —San Francisco Examiner-Chronicle
“Ellen Gilchrist’s achievement is to create lives which refuse to be bound on the page by words and sentences . . . the writing is full of understanding that doesn’t advertise itself as perception or insight.” —London Daily Telegraph
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