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Cover of I Am Faithful by Jenny Irish
December 2019
Black Lawrence Press

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I Am Faithful

Jenny Irish

Fiction. From reviewer Nickole Brown: "What is it to be poor? Discovering an ATM's smallest withdrawal is more than the little left in your account? Counting out food stamps or working phone scams? Living in a bleak rental or a house made of 'shiplap and tarpaper and corrugated tin'? Or is it something far more subterranean and corrosive, like the backwards kindness of a grandfather who guns down stray dogs? Or is it women who, with their bodies as their only asset, believe it 'better to have a husband who beat you bloody than to be single'? And what of their daughters, of their perceived competition, such as a little girl shining 'like a scrubbed apple' before her body is found locked in ice? The question of privilege — of what it can buy, really — demands uncomfortable, often violent answers, and Jenny Irish's unflinching collection, 'I Am Faithful,' holds steady aim, writing the truth, bitter as it may be, that few understand but everyone needs to hear. Reader, witness: Here, in burnished, exquisite prose, is a precise telling of class in America, a portrait of those who must compromise to survive, who scrape and save, and though acting out of the grim fury misery provides, they never, under whatever circumstance, deserve to be called 'trash.'"


Jenny Irish is assistant professor in creative writing in the Department of English at ASU.

Praise for this book

"'I Am Faithful' is often beautiful, occasionally ugly, and true on every page. Jenny Irish is a writer of great skill and intelligence and most of all heart."

Kyle Minor
Author of "Praying Drunk"

"In this collection of stories, Jenny Irish's sparse, raw prose gathers briny New England interiors, the eyes of old dogs, absent mothers and cold lovers. Each character is filled with the ache of absence, each story a Russian doll packed with glass. You'll want to cradle them to your chest, even knowing that, as you open them, the shards will cut you. A quiet, confident and unassuming work."

Jen Michalski
Author of "The Summer She Was Under Water"