History of Wolves: A Novel by Emily Fridlund:
Here’s what I passed that day as I walked into town. First, the familiar spray-painted sign propped on the roadside, the one that promised LIQUOR AND GAS. For years Katrina the Communist ran that old place, selling bait and beer at a discount, vodka and gasoline at a premium. Katerina was fifty my whole life, a second-generation Czech from Iowa with the same hooded eyes as my toads. She sold my dad’s blow-down wood in twined bundles and my mother’s handmade lures reconfigured as earrings. As I got older, it dawned on me that she pitied us. Once, she gave me a pair of Adidas tennis shoes that had belonged to her niece. Saying, “Goddammit, Linda” when I wouldn’t take them at first. Saying, “A high schooler does not wear hiking boots to school, period. Okay? Okay?” For years those were my very best shoes. I was wearing them that day.