Cover image for Glory goes and gets some : stories
Glory goes and gets some : stories
Carter, Emily, 1960-
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
Minneapolis, MN : Coffee House Press ; St. Paul, MN : Distributor, Consortium Book Sales & Distribution, [2000]

Physical Description:
239 pages ; 22 cm
East on Houston -- Glory B. and the gentle art -- Glory B. and the baby Jesus -- Glory B. and the ice-man -- Glory and the angels -- Minneapolis -- New in north town -- Ask Amelio -- WLUV -- Parachute silk -- My big red heart -- Luminous dial -- The bride -- Bad boy walking -- All the men are called McCabe -- Zemecki's cat -- Cute in camouflage -- Glory goes and gets some -- Train line -- A -- Clean clothes.
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How is a woman in her thirties, HIV-positive and fresh out of rehab, supposed to find love and work in contemporary, urban America, steering clear of self-pity and doctrinaire "happy-talk"? This linked short story collection shows how Glory goes and gets some.

Emily Carter's debut traces Glory,s stay in Minnesota's recovery community, from halfway houses in blighted urban neighborhoods to well-funded treatment centers in bucolic pastures. From her addictions to heroin and alcohol in New York through her unlikely, tenuous, yet rewarding alliances with the full range of treatment mavens in the midwest, Glory gives us an uncensored and irreverent account of her experiences in twelve-step recovery~a process that, for all its faults,ultimately works for her. ,,That first six months, there were an awful lot of people I met who talked the talk, all the time. Their faces seemed to glow, and they'd go on about so-and-so "getting it, getting the program," having that much-touted aura of serenity about them. It was my experience that such persons usually relapsed and stole their roommate's stereo equipment, or charged five thousand dollars worth of lingerie at Neiman Marcus.

Glory Goes and Gets Some is a streetwise and sardonic look at sex, HIV, addiction, and recovery.

Emily Carter 's work has received many awards and fellowships, including the Loft/McKnight Award, a Bush Grant, and a National Magazine Award. Her writing has appeared in Story Magazine, Gathering of the Tribes, Between C & D, Artforum, Open City, Great River Review, and Poz Magazine, for which she was the cover subject of the 1998 summer fiction issue. Glory Goes and Gets Some features stories that were originally published in The New Yorker , and the title story was selected by Garrison Keillor for Best American Short Stories 1997 . Emily Carter lives in Minneapolis.

Author Notes

Emily Carter's work has appeared in The New Yorker, Story Magazine, and Ruminator Review, among others.

The title story in Glory Goes and Gets Some was selected by Garrison Keillor for The Best American Short Stories 1998.

She Lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Carter's stories link and overlap to form a book-length narrative about the trials and tribulations of Glory, now in her thirties and HIV-positive. Once the adored little girl of professionals, she became a rowdy drunk, and then an opiate abuser living in the down-and-out Minneapolis neighborhoods her great-great-grandfather "had worked all his life to get his family out of." Seeing a parallel between Marie Antoinette in a peasant dress and herself in a leather jacket, Glory admits that she is self-centered, self-involved, self-pitying, and generally self-serving. This could all be said of Carter's book, too, so grindingly does it drone on about treatment programs, 12-step slogans, loneliness that cannot be alleviated by others, lost time, and lost opportunities for deeper friendships. Yet the honed skill of Carter's writing and the appeal of the narrator's candor keep it from becoming a mind-numbing account of excess, and, thankfully, optimism does burst forth, particularly in the title story. --Whitney Scott

Publisher's Weekly Review

An intense, edgy, boldly candid and irrepressibly sardonic voice drives the 21 interlinked stories in this collection, mainly narrated by the eponymous Gloria Bronski. Exiled from Manhattan to a recovery community in Minnesota, Glory minces no words in confessing that she is a former drug addict and alcoholic. She's also HIV positive (from a liaison with a Puerto Rican air-conditioner repairman), chronically depressed, and aching for sex, love and connection. The self-described "Jewish child of professional intellectuals," she announces her obsessive neediness for approval ("my disgusting need to be liked")Ä especially by men. Glory is one of those characters who grab hold of your elbow and pour out their heart in nonstop talk. Her monologues pulse with irony and black humor; constantly cracking wise, she betrays her vulnerability only obliquely. Time and again, Glory's self-destructive behaviorÄin East Coast private schools, from which she is expelled, and in the streets and bedrooms of seamy New York neighborhoodsÄtestifies to her paradoxical temptation to act badly, even when she's close to rock-bottom. Perversely, she rebuffs her family's love and concernÄbut not their money, which always rescues her. In the story "The Bride," she admits that "males have always had incredible power over me.... From nursery school on, I craved their love and approval in the way I would later come to crave alcohol, cocaine, and opiates." But after brief spurts of chemically induced euphoria, all she has earned is a lifetime of sadness. As she progresses through Minnesota's treatment centers, however, Glory does achieve recovery, and the tender, burgeoning possibility of a hopeful life. Carter's stories are best when Glory's voice has center stage; the several third-person narratives lack the ring of authority. But her prose is everywhere supple and compelling, and this collection announces her as a brave new talent. (Sept.) FYI: Carter's literary credentials are impressive; she is the daughter of writer Anne Roiphe and the sister of Katie Roiphe. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Addiction, AIDS, rehabDsounds grim. However, Carter rises above the subject matter and writes in a wholly original voice that is equally irreverent, moving, sardonic, and sad. In this series of linked stories, some of which were originally published in The New Yorker, the author pieces together the chapters of her heroine's life, from Glory's childhood to her stay in treatment centers to her brief period of happiness. In one of the stories, Glory answers the question, "I'm HIV-positive, who will have sex with me?" by placing a personal ad in a magazine called Positive People. Glory knows her weaknesses and is frank and open about her bad decisions: "From nursery school on, I craved [men's] love and approval in the way I would later come to crave alcohol, cocaine and opiates." Carter shows what it is like to live the life of a knowing yet troubled woman today without passing judgment on her character. All public libraries should "go and get some."DYvette Olson, City University Lib., Renton, WA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.



Glory Goes and Gets Some by Emily CarterLeadtext: All right, maybe I do. Maybe I do talk first and think later. Yes, it's true, I admit it freely. It's because I'm from the city. Now, you can say to me, Glory B., it's no crime to think about what you're going to say before you say it, to figure out how it relates to the topic being discussed, or if it does at all, or if what you're going to say has the slightest factual basis whatsoever. I've got that argument down cold, because listen, words are my music. When I talk, I improvise. It's not so much what I'm saying as how it sounds. Take jazz, all right, let's use jazz as an analogy, parallels are always good. Now, what I mean is, what do you think every time Bird sat down to blow he had the whole musical score right in front of him? Did he have the whole thing thought out? He did not. Well, he probably did not, I'm not entirely familiar with the man's work, but probably, most likely he improvised is what I'm saying.Now some people, people from Someplace, say, like Minnesota, they think about what they're going to say before they say it. They're not attuned to the sound of words, because they probably grew up sitting on their porches after dinner and homework, listening to crickets, which just make one sound, over and over again, and put you in a trance so you can just sit there not moving and think, think, think, until you go inside and watch television or make fruit jellies. That's where all those types with the masters in philosophy come from: Minnesota, Wisconsin, North Dakota, like that. Brooding and musing all the time. Very, very Swedish, if you catch my drift. Trust them, why should I?Never go to the movies with someone from Minnesota. Here's what I mean:I have this friend, we used to go out in high school, about six hundred years ago, but he went to college and grad school while I kept forgetting to get up in the morning, and now he's my friend and he lives in Inwood, which is way far north, where the subway stations have elevators in them to get you back up to street level because you're so far underground, and when you come up you're on top of a hill and all around you is miles and miles of nothing that looks like the city you grew up in, wide boulevards with vague glittering lights from fastfood restaurants and body shops. So you see what I mean--my friend has chosen an untrendy existence in an unfashionable part of town. So when he calls me up to tell me he has fallen in love with this amazing girl who's not only beautiful, but also brilliant, where does she come from? Well, a hint, it's a lot farther west than Fort Lee, New Jersey, and there's plenty of wheat out there. And what's she doing here? Getting her degree in Kierkegaard, another Nordic good-time boy. He tells me her name is Lara Kjellaan and he wants me to meet her, for some reason he thinks it's very important that we meet. So all right, they'll come down from the north pole and we'll go to the movies.When I meet them outside the theater and we all shake hands I'm thinking that I probably really am an alcoholic because one of the questions they ask you is "when you're in social situations where alcohol is not present, do you feel uncomfortable?" Answer: Yes, absolutely. Let's face it, the only thing I like to do is sit around a bar and drink alcoholic beverages. This meeting people I don't know, this going to the movies, it's not for me, really it's not. But I shake this Lara person's hand and smile warmly at her, a smile that communicates nothing so much as the fact that I have no plans to try to sleep with her boyfriend, because if we don't start from there, forget it, I won't be able to hack this evening at all, and I'm already wishing that I could just spend my whole life talking to strangers who love the sound of my voice, buy me shots of the local spirits, some kind of potent potato liquor brewed in the mountains by peasant women who mix it all up with their saliva. What's so bad about people's saliva? I think we should all share each other's saliva, why not? Saliva, of course, is something I'm thinking a lot about when I meet my old friend and his new girl, because she's very small, has sparrow-boned shoulders and ivory fingers delicate as a tree frog's knobbly feet. Her hair is the color of straw and her face is washed with a faint dusting of freckles. The whole deal makes me nervous, and when I'm nervous I tend to spit when I talk. Not much, just a little, a little mist.When I calm down enough to hear what's going on around me I hear my friend reeling off a list of Lara's academic credits--University X, Foundation grant Y--because he thinks given half a chance I will dismiss this sweetie as a generic love interest, which really isn't giving me any credit at all. We're all standing in this long line and just as he gets to the part about applying to some writer's colony the line starts to move. I hover over Lara, ready to confide, this must be awkward for her, too? She's hardly had the chance to say one single word, what with her boyfriend doing her advance PR work. I remember in high school we almost never got around, me and this guy, to making out, because he talked so much, and half the time we'd end up in an argument about who was the biggest hypocrite and not speak to each other for a week. We broke up by midterms, if I remember correctly.So I'm hovering over this Lara, and like always with really small women, I feel like Alice after she took the one pill that makes you larger, big and--here's the word--galumphing. Galumphing, good word, and that of course makes me feel this heady sensation of protectiveness toward the smaller woman, and then the usual realization dawns on me. Oh My God I Am A Lesbian. And not one of those hip stylish ones who write avant-garde movie scripts and get their pictures taken in nightclubs either. I'm some sad old thing sitting at the bar while my little femme fatale girlfriend cheats on me with anything, male or female, that happens to be around. In other words, I get treated the way I've treated certain men in my life, which as a thought is worse than thinking about car accidents. So I say to Lara, would she like some popcorn, my treat. She's so short I want to put my hand on her shoulder, but I don't. I put it instead into my pocket to dig out the money. My friend comes out of the men's room and we go inside the theater. Then there's the thing about who sits where, which I can't stand either; it's more of that kind of thing that makes me pull at my hair when I'm sober. We could sit with my friend between us, but I don't like the looks of that--like he's got two girls, one on either side, nudge, nudge, lucky dog, heh-heh. But then again if I sit on the outside of Lara, it will look like I'm some sort of third wheel, some kind of duenna, or some horrible thing like that. I'm standing in the aisle, thinking about what it would be like to be someplace else, sitting in my kitchen for instance, or watching my insane and sorrowful upstairs neighbour Katasha write down lists of her enemies, when here comes the thought, to my rescue, like Superman. Just sit, Gloria, it doesn't matter where, because No One Is Looking At You. Hard to believe, and yet it's an ontological starting point I must adhere to, at times, even just to get out of my apartment.Anyway, I forget about all that noise as soon as the movie starts. Let me tell you about this movie. It was amazing, and it made me cry at the end, not the kind of crying where they trick you into it with violet colored lights and a certain kind of music that attaches itself directly to your tear ducts and pulls at them like an invisible, milking jellyfish, so you feel a little ashamed of yourself for being so easily run through the maze to get your money's worth; but the kind of crying where you've just gotten a sense of the fact that there is life, and people go through it, and Excerpted from Glory Goes and Gets Some by Emily Carter All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

Table of Contents

1 East on Houstonp. 15
Glory B. and the Gentle Artp. 19
Glory B. and the Baby Jesusp. 27
Glory B. and the Ice-Manp. 35
Glory and the Angelsp. 43
2 Minneapolisp. 53
New in North Townp. 57
Ask Ameliop. 61
3 WLUVp. 69
Parachute Silkp. 81
My Big Red Heartp. 99
4 Luminous Dialp. 105
The Bridep. 109
5 Bad Boy Walkingp. 145
All the Men Are Called McCabep. 165
Zemecki's Catp. 173
6 Cute in Camouflagep. 195
Glory Goes and Gets Somep. 207
Train Linep. 213
Ap. 225
Clean Clothesp. 237