Pretty by Greg Kearny

2011, Paperback

Loss. Illness. Addiction. Bad sex. Spooky offsprings. Dry skin. Inexplicable hope. Twelve pretty stories about the decidedly un-pretty lives of average people, mortified, if not devastated by new circumstances.

A middle-aged, HIV-positive gay man, deformed by the side effects of protease inhibitors, is savaged by the flip small talk of canny young men.

A fundamentalist Christian housewife thrills to her new-found carnality, only to be saddled by the home-schooling of her four special-needs children.

A washed-up but content pop star is pursued by a pair of shrill documentary filmmakers intent on turning the woman's life into art tragedy, even if it kills them all.