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   Polite Society
 

Polite Society

Author: Sumner, Melanie Set In . . .
 Africa, Senegal
Genre: Short Stories
Time Frame: 1990s
Published: 1995
Description: Melanie Sumner's remarkable fiction has received early recognition from The New Yorker, which published two selections from Polite Society. Her work has been anthologized in New Stories from the South and Voices of the Xiled. Polite Society resounds with unusual spirit and searing honesty. Darren, a not-so-nice young woman from Tennessee, joins the Peace Corps for lack of a better idea. Fitting in with Southerners was hard enough, but trying to understand friends, lovers, and herself while unemployed in Senegal sends Darren reeling. The world that spirals around her is full of outrageous encounters, interracial affairs, and nights of drunken revelry. Against the backdrop of a society that is governed by hospitality and good manners but is full of strangers and unfamiliar customs, Darren runs headlong into her own insecurities, fears, and desires. With sly humor and acuity, Melanie Sumner brings readers a youthful heroine who is stubborn and selfish, loving and libidinous, and, ultimate
  
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