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Never Be Normal, by Judith Beth Cohen

Reviewers have said about Cohen’s novel Seasons (The Permanent Press):

“ a finely etched story of one particular woman’s coming to terms with the forces that have shaped her dreams and fears.” The Boston Globe

… she moves from spring to spring echoing the formal design of Walden…but Cohen’s vision rings truer.” Boston Magazine

Never Be Normal, Judith Beth Cohen’s story collection, brings readers close to sixties rebels, political activists, struggling couples, and singles looking for love. Some of her characters resist normality in favor of a cause. Others are labeled because of their disabilities. Readers will meet a Jewish bus driver in Texas, a Yoga Guru, a Palestinian peace activist and an obese child with a terminal disease. They will experience a therapist who brings a live python to his disturbed charges, and a single woman who joins a scheme for borrowing married men. A feuding couple helps fight a forest fire on a Florida Indian reservation. Devastated by a fatal hunting accident, a rural woman resists efforts to help her, and an activist priest from South Africa hides in Ireland. Many of these rebels and self-identified outsiders come to terms with their demons. Cohen’s collection represents her long career with both humor and empathy. Most of these stories have been published in small magazines but this volume makes them available to a larger audience.

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