Suzan Sherman on Maxine Swann's Flower Children
by Maxine Swann
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Maxine Swann's writing career began with a bang in 1997, when her short story "Flower Children"—her first ever published—appeared in Ploughshares, won a series of prestigious awards (including an O. Henry and a Pushcart Prize), and went on to appear in The Best American Short Stories of 1998. Now her much-anticipated second novel, Flower Children, is out—the first chapter of which is the story as it appeared in Ploughshares a decade ago.
"Flower Children," the short story, is written in the unlikely third-person plural, from the shared perspective of four young siblings—Maeve, Lu, Tuck, and Clyde. They are raised largely unsupervised in a rural Pennsylvania farmhouse in the 1970s, their hippie parents in all-out rebellion against their bourgeois upbringings. Both parents have lovers who come and go in open view;
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