Tough Customers and Other Stories: Tales from Tennessee & Southern Appalachia

"How could anybody resist a story that begins "When I was a teen-age girl, I always wanted a man who'd never leave me and a brick ranch house . . ." Mary Hodges' stories are full of life, wit, and wisdom. Swift and to the point, they come to life on the page in a way few writers can manage--it's as if a whole town is talking straight to us! Often hysterically funny, sometimes poignant, always smart, these stories capture small town life in our time. They are important stories, deceptively simple, timeless and true." -- Lee Smith

"Mary Hodges is a keen observer and an attentive listener in her corner of our human neighborhood. A storyteller in the best Southern Appalachian tradition, at once witty and compassionate, she makes us aware of the daily experiences that bond us to neighbors everywhere." -- Wilma Dykeman

"I love the emotional range these stories: the broad comedy of 'Ms. Ida Mae,' which modulates into the mordant humor and compassion of 'Trilla's Beauty Shop,' the steam-roller blindness of the mother who narrates 'The Mis-Conception,' the horrific irony which ends 'Out of Danger' and the traumatic suspense of the title story. There is much here for readers to take heart and I know they will." -- George Ella Lyon