Joyce Carol Oates, “The Hunter”

“Liam Gavin I was named, yet there was a being deep inside Liam Gavin who could not be named. This being had never been baptized in any church. No woman had sung lullabies to him cradling him in her arms.

This being seemed to reside in my eyes, I thought. Sometimes in the region of my heart. Sometimes in my belly. And sometimes between my hard-muscled legs.

Between my legs, a fist-like thing that grew rigid and angry with sudden blood.

This thing had no name. It came of a time before there were names, or even words. Before God spoke with a human tongue.”

Daniel Woodrell, “Winter’s Bone”

“Ree’s grand hope was that these boys would not be dead to wonder by twelve, dulled to life, empty of kindness, boiling with mean. So many Dolly kids were that way, ruined before they had chin hair, groomed to live outside square law and abide by the remorseless blood-soaked commandments that governed life outside square law.”