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In Tony Earley’s story, “Charlotte,” the description of the bar on page 37 is done in such a easily relatable way. The details are generic to a bar of it’s kind, but it works because most everyone knows and/or has been to a bar exactly like this – PJ’s is familiar to the reader. The waitresses are familiar as well, but Earley also uses them to effectively describe different surrounding areas and Charlotte universities. We better understand the bar and the city through these women, just as we better understand the bar and the city through wrestling: “…. everyone in Charlotte is from somewhere else. Everyone in Charlotte tries to be something they are not.”

It isn’t until page 42 that we get an idea of what time this takes place. Earley describes the women in the bar as follows: “The girls do aerobics like religion and have big, curly hair stiff with mousse.” It is such a quick moment, but the reader immediately recognizes that we are in the eighties.

I’m not sure if this is a love story about Charlotte, wrestling, Starla, or all three.

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