domesticated wild things and other stories prairie schooner book prize in fiction

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Domesticated Wild Things And Other Stories

Author : Xhenet Aliu
ISBN : 9780803271838
Genre : Fiction
File Size : 88. 50 MB
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Just down the highway from Connecticut’s Gold Coast is the state’s rusty underbelly, the wretched, used-up sort of place where you might find Xhenet Aliu’s Domesticated Wild Things: the reluctant mothers, delinquent dads, and not-quite-feral children, yet dreamers all. These are the children of immigrants who found boarded-up brass mills instead of the gilded streets of America; they’re the teenaged girls raised in the fluorescent glow of Greek diners, the middle-aged men with pump trucks and teratomas. These are people who have fled, or who should have. And if they are indeed familiar, it is because Aliu writes what is real, whether we ourselves, her readers, have seen it up close or not. And her stories make sense in a way that matters. A young mother buys into a real-estate investment seminar offered on an infomercial, only to be put back into her place by a bully in foreclosure. A closeted wrestler befriends a latchkey seven-year-old neighbor who harbors secrets of her own. A YMCA counselor tries to reclaim shoes stolen by a troubled young camper. What they share is a biting humor, an eye for the absurd, and fumbling attempts at human connection, all rendered irresistible—and as moving as they are amusing—by a writer whose work is at once edgy and endearing and prize winning for reasons any reader can appreciate.

Brass

Author : Xhenet Aliu
ISBN : 9780399590245
Genre : Fiction
File Size : 68. 48 MB
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A waitress at the Betsy Ross Diner in Waterbury, Connecticut, Elsie hopes her nickel-and-dime tips will add up to a new life. Then she meets Bashkim, who is at once both worldly and naive, a married man who left Albania to chase his dreams-- and wound up working as a line cook in Waterbury, Connecticut. When Elsie she learns that she's pregnant, she wonders what he'll do about the wife he left behind. Seventeen years later, headstrong and independent Luljeta is stuck in Connecticut with her mother, Elsie--a fate she refuses to accept. Believing the key to her future is unlocking the secrets of the past, Lulu decides to find out what exactly her mother has been hiding about the father she never knew.--

The Prairie Schooner Book Prize

Author : James Engelhardt
ISBN : 9780803246416
Genre : Poetry
File Size : 25. 41 MB
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After ten years of selecting great books from writers, new and established, Prairie Schooner celebrates the first decade of its Book Prize series by offering this collection of excerpts from each year’s winners in fiction and poetry. Writers such as Brock Clarke, Anne Finger, Rynn Williams, and Paul Guest open windows to ordinary and fantastic experience showcasing the liveliness and power of contemporary literature. Greg Hrbek’s darkly comic, genre-bending tales stand alongside Ted Gilley’s stories about achieving bliss through pain and John Keeble’s reflections on community and the difficulty of love. Here Shane Book’s poems serve as an elegiac witness to suffering, while Kathleen Flenniken’s poems consider ordinary women constructing their own significance, and Kara Candito’s explore sex, loss, and human passions. Whether the topic is fantastic or quotidian, childbirth or monsters, South American airplane disaster or suburban Wisconsin, this writing carries us to the furthest reaches of human experience.

November Storm

Author : Robert Oldshue
ISBN : 9781609384517
Genre : Fiction
File Size : 78. 84 MB
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"In each of the stories in Robert Oldshue's debut collection, the characters want to be decent but find that hard to define. In the first story, an elderly couple is told that delivery of their Thanksgiving dinner has been canceled due to an impending blizzard. Unwilling to have guests but nothing to serve them, they make a run to the grocery, hoping to get there and back before the snow, but crash their car into the last of their neighbors. In "The Receiving Line," a male prostitute tricks a closeted suburban schoolteacher only to learn that the trick is on him. "The Field Of Machpelah" features a twenty-something, premed dropout who is guarding a cemetery when a man asks to see his wife's prepaid plot before the hospital disconnects her life support. In "Home Depot," a family uses their foul-mouthed love to survive the birth of a malformed child. A psychiatrist confronts his fear of the past to help a patient in the present in "Mass Mental." In "The Woman On The Road," a twelve-year-old girl negotiates the competing demands of her faith and her family as she is bat mitzvahed in the feminist ferment of the 1980s. The lessons she learns are the lessons learned by a ten-year-old boy in "Fergus B. Fergus," after which, in "Summer Friend," two women and one man renegotiate their sixty-year intimacy when sadly, but inevitably, one of them gets ill. "The Home Of The Holy Assumption" offers a benediction. A quadriplegic goes missing at a nursing home. Was she assumed? In the process of finding out, all are reminded that caring for others, however imperfectly--even laughably--is the only shot at assumption we have. In upstate New York, a November storm is one that comes early in the season. If it catches people off-guard, it can change them in the ways Oldshue's characters are changed by different but equally surprising storms"--

Bliss And Other Short Stories

Author : Ted Gilley
ISBN : 9780803233560
Genre : Fiction
File Size : 58. 70 MB
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Winner of the Prairie Schooner Book Prize in Fiction, this daring collection of nine stories introduces readers to an edgy vision and a world in which certainties are tested and found wanting. A Cambodian refugee negotiates the icy waters of American social and sexual life. A young couple seeks "peak experiences" to escape grief, only to discover that they've brought it along with them. A teenage girl, unable to face the imminent end of her grandfather's life, risks her own life in an impulsive act. A man's fragile hold on reality becomes the key to his finding, albeit through a terrifying labyrinth, his heart's desire. The characters inBliss and Other Short Storiesmust find their way to a truth that, though less than perfect, is one they can live with. Finding bliss, it seems, is as much about pain as about pleasure, and in Ted Gilley's writing the discovery is always exquisite.

Black Jesus And Other Superheroes

Author : Venita Blackburn
ISBN : 9781496204004
Genre : Fiction
File Size : 67. 36 MB
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Winner of the Prairie Schooner Book Prize in Fiction, Black Jesus and Other Superheroes chronicles ordinary people achieving vivid extrasensory perception while under extreme pain. The stories tumble into a universe of the jaded and the hopeful, in which men and women burdened with unwieldy and undesirable superhuman abilities are nonetheless resilient in subtle and startling ways. Venita Blackburn's characters hurl themselves toward the inevitable fates they might rather wish away. Their stories play with magic without the sparkle, glaring at the internal machinations of the human spirit. Fragile symbols for things such as race, sexuality, and love are lifted, decorated, and exposed to scrutiny and awe like so many ruins of our imagination. Through it all Blackburn’s characters stumble along currents of language both thoughtful and hilarious.

Black Jesus And Other Superheroes

Author : Venita Blackburn
ISBN : 9781496201867
Genre : Fiction
File Size : 86. 17 MB
Format : PDF
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Winner of the Prairie Schooner Book Prize in Fiction, Black Jesus and Other Superheroes chronicles ordinary people achieving vivid extrasensory perception while under extreme pain. The stories tumble into a universe of the jaded and the hopeful, in which men and women burdened with unwieldy and undesirable superhuman abilities are nonetheless resilient in subtle and startling ways. Venita Blackburn's characters hurl themselves toward the inevitable fates they might rather wish away. Their stories play with magic without the sparkle, glaring at the internal machinations of the human spirit. Fragile symbols for things such as race, sexuality, and love are lifted, decorated, and exposed to scrutiny and awe like so many ruins of our imagination. Through it all Blackburn’s characters stumble along currents of language both thoughtful and hilarious.

Now We Will Be Happy

Author : Amina Gautier
ISBN : 9780803256903
Genre : Fiction
File Size : 33. 22 MB
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Now We Will Be Happy is a prize-winning collection of stories about Afro-Puerto Ricans, U.S.-mainland-born Puerto Ricans, and displaced native Puerto Ricans who are living between spaces while attempting to navigate the unique culture that defines Puerto Rican identity. Amina Gautier’s characters deal with the difficulties of bicultural identities in a world that wants them to choose only one. The characters in Now We Will Be Happy are as unpredictable as they are human. A teenage boy leaves home in search of the mother he hasn’t seen since childhood; a granddaughter is sent across the ocean to broker peace between her relatives; a widow seeks to die by hurricane; a married woman takes a bathtub voyage with her lover; a proprietress who is the glue that binds her neighborhood cannot hold on to her own son; a displaced wife develops a strange addiction to candles. Crossing boundaries of comfort, culture, language, race, and tradition in unexpected ways, these characters struggle valiantly and doggedly to reconcile their fantasies of happiness with the realities of their existence.

On The Rocks

Author : Theodora Bishop
ISBN : 9781680031539
Genre : Fiction
File Size : 78. 90 MB
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Theodora Bishop’s novella tells the story of twenty-eight-year-old Eva, in grief from the death of her childhood best friend and lover Sebastian. After Eva agrees to be her eccentric mother’s maid of honor, she finds herself swept up in events leading to her mother’s second marriage—including a mother-daughter adventure at a New Jersey spa. Startling revelations spur Eva to come to terms with not only her grief but a secret that threatens, once discovered, to overwhelm her. “My mother, Leonora Marino, was betrothed to the owner of a used car dealership called ‘The Lemon Tree.’ One unfortunate detail about her fiancé’s claim to fame being that its office and lots were painted bladder-stimulant yellow. This meant it was only natural that upon crossing into The Lemon Tree’s domain, you became senseless, pervaded by a wild urge to pee. I often noticed potential customers swaying as they waited to be assisted, bouncing on their heels; their general conduct derived not from impatience, but rather from an effort to disguise their discomfort. But perhaps my mother’s soon-to-be-hubby designed the space precisely so the hooey of swapping countless tons of metal for the big bucks was done swiftly.”

Better Times

Author : Sara Batkie
ISBN : 9781496211972
Genre : Fiction
File Size : 86. 7 MB
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Winner of the Prairie Schooner Book Prize in Fiction, the stories in Better Times focus on what’s happening in places people don’t think to look. Women, sometimes displaced, often lonely, are at the heart of these stories. In Better Times Sara Batkie focuses on the moments in women’s lives when the wider world is wrapped up in other matters: a father and daughter, separated by time and an ocean, dreaming of each other; a girl in a home for “troubled women” imagining the journey of the first dog in space; a phantom breast returning to haunt a woman after her mastectomy; a young woman giving birth to a litter of eggs. Such are the ordinary women weathering extraordinary circumstances in Better Times. Divided into three sections covering the recent past, our current era, and the world to come, the stories gathered here—with characters stymied by loneliness, motherhood, illness, even cataclysmic climate change—interrogate the idea that so-called better times ever existed, particularly for women.

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