Synopses & Reviews
Here is a unique collection, stories of no more than 1,000 words that spotlight today's under-twenty generation, starkly illuminating the moments during coming-of-age when something big is irrevocably awakened, acted upon, changed. Each story features a young protagonist—most are teenagers. They come from diverse ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds and live in urban, suburban, and rural communities across North America. Subjects range widely: friendship, love, sex, pregnancy, death of parents, delinquent siblings, sexuality, racism, bullying, violence, sports, the arts, war, faith, integrity, homeschooling, babysitting, loneliness, cars, pets, volunteering, birthdays, and more. The authors are established (Richard Bausch, Sandra Cisneros, David Eggers) or emerging (Gayle Brandeis, Matt Krampitz, Kathleen O'Donnell).
Whether action-packed or meditative, realistic or fantastical, these are stories that teens and college-age readers can relate to. For the rest of us, they are story bulletins of what it is like to be young today.
"Featuring emerging and established writers (e.g. Azizat Danmole and Alice Walker, respectively), this anthology brings together 65 short stories each under 1,000 words that deal with adolescence and childhood. Given its thematic unity, the collection displays a staggering amount of invention and variety, though, at times, the reiteration of 'coming-of-age' narratives in such close proximity risks deadening the effect. Manuela Soares' 'The Haircut,' in which a teenage protagonist comes to grips with her sexuality and incipient lesbianism, is immediately followed by the revelation of unexpected humanity and concomitant appreciation of mortality on the part of rural children in Jim Heynen's 'What Happened During the Ice Storm.' Among the strongest are the pieces that are written from the perspective of an adolescent or younger child, such as Gayle Brandeis's, 'Rapture' narrated by a young Jewish girl who has been spooked about the Biblical rapture by her Christian babysitter, or Caron A. Levis's 'A Whole Other,' a monologue in the bittersweet voice of a high school aged mother. Included also is more experimental, surrealistic work such as 'The Perpetual Now,' by Daniel Levin Becker, in which a boy's desire to live 'fully in every moment' leads to an attempt to 'eliminate...the useless from his dreaming state,' leaving him 'terribly, oppressively bored.' While this anthology is as much directed at adolescents as about them, anyone who has to use Flannery O'Connor's phrase 'survived childhood' will appreciate this excellent collection. (Jan.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
The only collection of its kind: short-shorts starring the under-twenty set, written by American authors, established and emerging.
In these stories of no more than 1000 words, well-known and emerging American authors spotlight crucial moments of change during coming-of-age. Their young protagonists face matters of great consequence, such as the death of a parent, unwanted pregnancy, and bullying, as well as lighter, if perplexing circumstances: how to hold a prom when being home-schooled; what to do when the babysitter suddenly sees the Rapture. The stories are of this moment--a girl who falls in love and then is pressured to lose her virginity in a cyberspace world--and they also remember the past: the Nixon era, the Vietnam War, slavery. Here is a glimpse into the way we live now from the point of view of those who will determine the future. Among the contributors are Steve Almond, Peter Bacho, Richard Bausch, Gayle Brandeis, Richard Brautigan, Ron Carlson, Kelly Cherry, Dave Eggers, Pia Z. Ehrhardt, Jim Heynen, Victor Lavalle, Meg Kearney, Naomi Shihab Nye, Maryann O'Hara, Sonia Pilcer, Pamela Painter, Bruce Holland Rogers, Robert Shapard, and Alice Walker.
A unique collection. The only anthology of short-short stories to focus on youth.
About the Author
Christine Perkins-Hazuka has taught English in public and private secondary schools for more than thirty years.Tom Hazuka has co-edited Flash Fiction and You Have Time for This, and other anthologies. He teaches fiction writing at Central Connecticut State University.Mark Budman, author of the novel My Life at First Try, publishes Vestal Review, an online magazine of flash fiction.