×

Uh-oh, it looks like your Internet Explorer is out of date.

For a better shopping experience, please upgrade now.

Gifts Not Yet Given (and Other Tales of the Holidays)
     

Gifts Not Yet Given (and Other Tales of the Holidays)

5.0 3
by Kergan Edwards-Stout
 

See All Formats & Editions

From award-winning author Kergan Edwards-Stout comes fourteen tales designed to delight and enthrall. In <i>Gifts Not Yet Given,</i> a warm and nuanced collection of short stories, dreams are realized, hope is found, memories are made, and life is treasured. Each is set around a holiday, from Halloween to Memorial Day, Thanksgiving to Christmas, and the

Overview

From award-winning author Kergan Edwards-Stout comes fourteen tales designed to delight and enthrall. In <i>Gifts Not Yet Given,</i> a warm and nuanced collection of short stories, dreams are realized, hope is found, memories are made, and life is treasured. Each is set around a holiday, from Halloween to Memorial Day, Thanksgiving to Christmas, and the tales illuminate the small, surprising, and pivotal moments in which personal awakenings occur and hearts expand.

Within you’ll discover a cornucopia of uniquely memorable characters, taking you to places both familiar and not… In <i>Gifts Not Yet Given,</i> you’ll find yourself inspired by the magic of the holidays, touched by our shared humanity, and moved by the simple pleasures found in life’s many unexpected moments.

Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
2013-10-22
The holiday season adds further strain to complex, tense relationships in this diverse collection of short stories. In 14 stories, Edwards-Stout (Songs for the New Depression, 2011) assumes an impressive range of voices: ball-breaking business woman, grade schooler struggling with gender identity, mother-to-be and transgender father, uprooted domestic worker, and more. This willingness to step inside the minds of such disparate, often nonmainstream characters hints at Edwards-Stout's confidence as a writer and his broad life experiences. While a book that shifts perspectives so frequently could become dizzying, Edwards-Stout tethers his characters to recurring themes of giving, holidays and acceptance. In "The Old Rugged Cross," Cassandra follows her son, Reggie, from Alabama to California. He's a fireman, a profession that killed his father, Cassandra's husband. While Cassandra is content in Jackson, Ala., and in the honest work of a domestic, she misses her son and yields to his pleas to relocate: "He was all she had, aside from Jesus." But when Reggie dies just before Christmas in the line of duty, Cassandra abandons Jesus and her old, weathered Bible: "[S]he banished it to a drawer, piling other books on top, as if to suffocate it." Cassandra revels in being forsaken until she learns to accept her son's choices, his dedication to service and her own source of passion. Acceptance--of oneself and of others--is Edwards-Stout's resounding message. Elsewhere, in "The Cape," a young man struggles to accept the death of many friends from AIDS; in "Hearts," a high school girl learns to accept being Jewish; and in "Gifts Not Yet Given," a mother finds a heartbreaking but tender way to accept giving her child up for adoption. Edwards-Stout's stories are original and important, yet the delivery isn't flawless. Awkward sentence structures throughout the book tend to stall reading and force characters to perform the impossible: "Running back out to the car, Paul hauled in his last items." And in several stories, a change of heart comes too easily. For instance, during a single visit, a mother appears to abandon her lifelong bias against her child's gender identity. Readers appreciate some resolution, but the kind of acceptance these characters seek is often too easily won here. Uneven writing but provocative stories with a clear, vital message.
two-time Ferro-Grumley Fiction Award winner, A Horse Named Sorrow and Through It Came Bright Colors - Trebor Healey
“The stories in Gifts Not Yet Given are vital, essential and remind us that much of human life is gained or lost through family. Edwards-Stout shines a light on contemporary life with skill and wit. A dynamic and engaging read.”
Novelist, These Things Happen - Richard Kramer
“Kergan Edwards-Stout’s stories are muscular, funny, sad and an antidote to holiday treacle, no matter the holiday. His writing is fueled by an original mix of compassion and rage. Several of the stories left me in tears, which certainly beats being left in tears by my own family at holiday time. Which means: he understands family, and the often crossed wires of family love. You will want to give his book as a gift.”
Author, winner of six Lambda Literary Awards as well as the Bill Whitehead Literary Award for Career Achievement - Michael Nava
“Gifts Not Given is a wonderful collection of stories from Kergan Edwards-Stout in which each story centers around a holiday. The stories are complex, surprising, touching and written with compassion and humanity, two qualities sadly lacking in so much contemporary fiction. I highly recommend Gifts Not Given and thank the author for this gift he has given us.”

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780983983736
Publisher:
Circumspect Press
Publication date:
10/15/2013
Pages:
232
Sales rank:
1,280,895
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.53(d)

Meet the Author

Kergan Edwards-Stout is an award-winning director and author, whose debut novel, <i>Songs for the New Depression,</i> won the 2012 Next Generation Indie Book Award in the LGBTQ category, was shortlisted in the same category for the Independent Literary Awards, and landed on book review site Out in Print’s list of the Top 15 Books of 2012 and multiple other lists. His work has appeared in a number of publications, including the <i>Huffington Post, Bilerico Project, LGBTQ Nation, American Short Fiction</i> and the health magazine <i>SexVibe</i>. He has been honored by the Human Rights Campaign as a “2011 Father of the Year”, and blogs regularly at He is currently at work on a memoir, Never Turn Your Back on the Tide.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Post to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews

Gifts Not Yet Given (and Other Tales of the Holidays) 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
BigAl70 More than 1 year ago
There isn&rsquo;t a lot to say about this collection that isn&rsquo;t in the description other than to say it lives up to its promise. Excellent, well written stories that evoke a wide range of emotions from the reader. An example, and one of my favorites, is the story call Festive Beaver, the story of an elementary school boy who discovers talents and inclinations that he doesn&rsquo;t yet understand while helping put together a Mardi Gras celebration. In many of the stories, I found that I figured things out before they were fully revealed or the story&rsquo;s focal character discovered things on their own. This set the stories up in such a way that I was pulling for the character, not only to discover or learn what they needed to, but also to do so in the least painful possible way. The ability to pull me into a short story as quickly and deeply as these did is a talent I don&rsquo;t see often in shorter works. **Originally written for &quot;Books and Pals&quot; book blog. May have received a free review copy. ** 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A wonderful and emotional collection of short stories. While they're all tied to holidays, they are more about individual characters and experiences they are facing. It is funny, bittersweet and heartwarming--just like the holidays are supposed to be!