First Sightings: Contemporary Stories About American Youth

Overview

"With its gamut of emotions, issues and real-life situations, this volume provides high quality reading that all Americans can identify with."—Publishers Weekly
Twenty stories, arranged by age of the protagonists, from 4 to 18. Contributors include Barbara Kingsolver, John Updike, Ethan Canin, Ernest J. Gaines, Gish Jen, Alice Walker, Michael Chabon, Toni Cade Bambara, Joyce Carol Oates, Philip Roth, and more.

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Overview

"With its gamut of emotions, issues and real-life situations, this volume provides high quality reading that all Americans can identify with."—Publishers Weekly
Twenty stories, arranged by age of the protagonists, from 4 to 18. Contributors include Barbara Kingsolver, John Updike, Ethan Canin, Ernest J. Gaines, Gish Jen, Alice Walker, Michael Chabon, Toni Cade Bambara, Joyce Carol Oates, Philip Roth, and more.

Presents twenty short stories, with protagonists aged three to eighteen years old, by such authors as John Updike, Alice Walker, Genaro Gonzales, and Carson McCullers.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The postwar American authors whose work Loughery ( Alias S. S. Van Dine ) has gathered here provide a wide-ranging reading of what it means to be young in America. With many heavy-hitters (including John Updike and Alice Walker) and a solid multicultural representation (including Tony Cade Bambara, Gish Jen), this collection plumbs the depths of innocence, awkwardness, confusion and wonder in a variety of childhood circumstances. Domestic problems, such as sexual and emotional abuse and divorce, are taken up in diverse ways. The theme of the death of a parent, grandparent or sibling also recurs throughout. Sexual and gender identity confusion appears, most powerfully in Richard McCann's story of a boy who dresses up in his mother's clothes. A few comic pieces provide balance, such as Philip Roth's classic story of a boy in Hebrew school who causes a rabbi grief with questions about the omnipotence of God. Jen's exploration of a Chinese girl's entry into a private school where she is a well-liked, exotic artifact is also quite funny. With its gamut of emotions, issues and real-life situations, this volume provides high quality reading that all Americans can identify with. (Apr.)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780892551873
  • Publisher: Persea Books
  • Publication date: 11/1/1993
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 320
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

John Loughery is the author of the 1996 Pulitzer Prize finalist John Sloan: Painter and Rebel and has edited the anthologies First Sightings: Contemporary Stories of American Youth, Into the Widening World: International Coming-of-Age Stories, and The Eloquent Essay: An Anthology of Classic & Creative Nonfiction. He teaches English at the Nightingale-Bamford School in New York City.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction: Images of Childhood and Adolescence
Should Wizard Hit Mommy? 1
The Stone Boy 8
The Sky Is Gray 21
Too Much His Father's Son 52
Rose-Johnny 60
The Little Knife 81
The Kind of Light That Shines on Texas 89
The Conversion of the Jews 103
Over the Hill 119
A Girl's Story 130
My Mother's Clothes: The School of Beauty and Shame 142
Wunderkind 161
The Skater 175
What Means Switch 185
Growing 204
Iona Moon 213
Hard to Be Good 228
Boy and Girl 252
A Sudden Trip Home in the Spring 268
Lies 280
Biographical Notes 289
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