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Kinda Sorta American Dream: Collected Stories
     

Kinda Sorta American Dream: Collected Stories

by Steve Karas
 

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In Steve Karas’ debut collection, an unemployed autoworker finds himself at an elite seminar for aspiring Santa Clauses; an IT specialist eagerly awaits the Mayan apocalypse in his parents’ basement as his father descends into dementia. Through fourteen curiously ambivalent studies, Karas methodically examines and reconfigures the core

Overview

In Steve Karas’ debut collection, an unemployed autoworker finds himself at an elite seminar for aspiring Santa Clauses; an IT specialist eagerly awaits the Mayan apocalypse in his parents’ basement as his father descends into dementia. Through fourteen curiously ambivalent studies, Karas methodically examines and reconfigures the core archetypes—dot-com entrepreneurs, hard-striving immigrants, obsessive diner owners—that haunt and dominate the American psyche. Their narratives, set against a dizzying panorama that stretches from the ruins of post-2008 Detroit to the desperate paradise of suburban Florida, evoke the familiar American mythology of army bases, Manhattan high-rises, and Midwestern video stores. Yet Karas’ masterful, minimalist portraits are ambiguous and tinged with uncertainty.

The winners, losers and hopeless visionaries who populate Kinda Sorta American Dream are united in their relentless quest to induce massive disruption in their lives—and their profound doubts about whether such radical change is possible.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"With his timely debut collection...Steve Karas announces himself as an exciting voice of immense breadth and literary talent. The masterful title story alone is worth the price of admission, but all of the fourteen stories here shimmer with compassion, intelligence, wit, and grace. From a social worker in a new high school to a Santa-in-training, a toy collector to a disaffected teen, Karas inhabits his wide array of characters with eerie accuracy. Filled with ache and longing, these keenly drawn portraits afford Karas a sharp look at the founding promise of our country, a bleak skewed shadow of its once bloated self, but not without a future of possibility or hope." - Sara Lippmann

"[A] glittering gem, a buttery cookie, a lit firecracker, hissing-exactly what I look for in a short story collection! This is Americana in all its buzzing splendor-the reaching and breathing and believing and hope. [Karas'] writing is brilliantly tight even when his characters are restless and wandering." - Leesa Cross-Smith

"[A] vivid tableau of survivalists and survivors, infidels and ghosts. Steve Karas sensitively captures the current moment through resonant characters caught between a tarnished past and an unknowable, uncertain future. A truly compassionate portrait of contemporary America." -Shawn Syms

"Don't be fooled by the modesty of the words 'Kinda Sorta' in its title. This is a dream of a story collection full of diverse, well-fleshed characters whose struggles to make a life for themselves in both contemporary and futuristic versions of America-whether they be a Greek diner owner seeking to reclaim his lost youth via the quasi-reality of social media, an African-American cop contending with what it means to pledge full allegiance to the badge amid rampant cases of police brutality, or a Midwestern man seeking work as a provider of cuddles in a connection-starved 2030 society-stay with you like the remnants of nocturnal visions. Karas switches between these various voices with empathy and authenticity. He is a writer to watch."
- Apollo Papafrangou

"What Steve Karas so authoritatively illustrates in this far-reaching debut collection is that the journey to achieving the American Dream may take many paths, but it doesn't come without pain, fear or loss. Assuming it comes at all. And yet despite this, in Karas' empathic hands, this journey is still one filled with vivid characters, a sense of hope and the joy of discovering an author at the start of something new and wonderful." - Ben Tanzer

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780996717502
Publisher:
Tailwinds Press Enterprises LLC
Publication date:
12/10/2015
Pages:
242
Sales rank:
747,147
Product dimensions:
5.00(w) x 7.00(h) x 0.55(d)

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