Halle Hill, Good Women
A woman boards a Greyhound bus barreling toward Florida to meet her sugar daddy’s mother; a state fair employee considers revenge on a local preacher; a sister struggles with guilt as she helps her brother plan to run away with a man he's seeing in secret; a young woman who works for a scam for-profit college navigates the lies she sells for a living.
Darkly funny and deeply human, Good Women observes how place, blood ties, generational trauma, obsession, and boundaries―or lack thereof―influence how we navigate our small worlds, and how those worlds so often collide in ways we don’t expect. Through intimate moments of personal choice, Hill carefully shines a light on how these twelve women shape and form themselves through faith and abandon, transgression and conformity, community, caution, and solitude.
With precision and empathy, Hill captures the mundane in moments of absurdity, and bears witness to both joy and heartbreak, reminding us how the next moment could be life-changing. Vibrant and exacting, Hill is a must-read new voice in literary fiction.
“Characters are tormented by pregnancy (unwanted, ill-starred), weight control, evangelical faith, screwed-up mothers and fathers, and police brutality and are unable to find the comfort others do in Pema Chödrön, nontoxic cleaning supplies, or White Claw. A stunning slow burn brimming with observation, emotion, and incident.”
—Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review
"In Halle Hill's Good Women, we meet mothers and daughters, lovers and friends, saints and aint's––all longing for something, some place, someone. They are curious, messy, and determined, and Hill's fierce and dazzling pen lets us feel every ounce of their complicated desires. Every mistake, every realization, every triumph, every tragedy. This is a fantastic firecracker of a collection I'll return to again and again!"
—Deesha Philyaw, author of The Secret Lives of Church Ladies
Halle Hill is from East Tennessee and lives in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. A graduate of Maryville College and the M.F.A. Writing program at Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD), she is the winner of the 2021 Crystal Wilkinson Creative Writing Prize and was a finalist for the 2021 ASME Award for Fiction. Her short stories have been published in Joyland, New Limestone Review, Southwest Review, and The Oxford American, where she won the 2020 Debut Fiction Prize.