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The Beautiful Name: Four Stories

By Helen W. Mallon   

With an eye for quirky detail, Helen W. Mallon presents four lively characters who are each, in different ways, on a blindfolded hunt for intimacy. Izzy, the burned-out mother of twins in Did You Put the Cat to Bed? tries to provoke her clueless husband by painting the town red.

In ‘You Say You Want a Revolution,’ Sarah, a motherless child of the ’70’s, flaunts her sexual liberation, refusing to admit she’s being used by an older man.

Casual Day at the Crazy House celebrates the everyday side of craziness as Olivia tries to get her dad to emerge from his new living quarters—the bathroom—in time to attend her high school graduation.

In Indecent Exposure, Chip is a straitlaced man who wants to grieve his recently deceased father with a closed-mouthed dignity befitting the old war veteran. Instead, he is confronted by the revelation of his sister’s tell-all family memoir.

Mallon puts pressure on her characters to explore the threads of intimacy by which we connect—and fail to connect—with those we love, and she finds our humanity most poignantly expressed in the spaces between.