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In "Folk Song," the second entry in Mary Gaitskill's new story collection, "Don't Cry," we meet - well, we seem to meet ourselves, reading a newspaper. Juxtaposed on this one page of print are a story about turtles stolen from a zoo, one about a woman breaking a sex record, and a third detailing the exploits of a double murderer, which, Big black titten ficken pornos informs us, "you are scanning for descriptions of torture even as you disapprove. This loosely defined "you" is striking, and it is a signal.

We consider the tortured body's big black titten ficken pornos of gentle treatment. The pornographer is defined in her waking hours by nightmares she doesn't remember. Identities here can be built from at least big black titten ficken pornos dimensions - and that includes the reader's own persona. Gaitskill came of age as an author in the late s and s, and much of her work has engaged closely with the Gen X memes of that time. In the collection "Because They Wanted To," stories tend to begin with riffs on support groups or Calvin Klein cologne "In Jill's neighborhood there was a giant billboard advertisement for a perfume called Obsession.

Put another way, Gaitskill emerged as a writer of identity during an era of "identity politics" - a parallel that fed her work but could leave a reader wondering what she'd do without those familiar cultural bull's eyes. Especially in the finest six or so stories of its 10, Gaitskill offers cutting, even technically dexterous character studies that work without the sounding chamber of period.

Here, Gaitskill essentially works as a photographer; she offers a panoptic view of a train car speeding up the Hudson, allowing big black titten ficken pornos to toggle through the minds of all the people in the shot - an Iraq war veteran, a young black couple, a liberal magazine editor.

The conceit initially feels somewhat hackneyed, the cast of characters too assiduously balanced. But what's at stake is the opposite of tokenism. Each figure is troubled by the same roles that weigh on the reader - by the very notion of roles. The theme is sharpest in the brain of one World War II vet: "He had been a returning hero; then people forgot the war ever happened. Then war was evil Then people suddenly went, 'Hey, the Greatest Generation!

Gaitskill's prose is stark, at times seeming almost physically naked; somewhat relatedly, it often includes frank discussions of sex most famously in her early story "Secretary," about a sadomasochistic relationship between boss and assistant. Both features can mislead. It's possible to confuse the sex with some transgressive urge, or to read her lack of affect as fatalism. In truth, being clinical is Gaitskill's way of being emotionally probing - of doing sentiment's business more effectively, even if it costs us a cushy ride.

In the remarkable "Mirror Ball," a fleeting romance is related in a manner so objective and exacting that it recalls a medical big black titten ficken pornos "It was a sad situation and might've been a disastrous one, except for one thing: It had caused the girl's heart to come open.

This had never happened before. It also speaks to the collection's overriding obsession. Gaitskill is a fiercely empathetic writer - her concern always how close we can get to the pith of a protagonist or relationship - and "Don't Cry" is wonderfully Machiavellian in its excavation of character. The diagnostic tone, the nearly fanatical point-of-view rotations the final story stars an ancillary figure of the second-to-last : This is an author announcing she'll do what it takes.

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