Sudden Flash Youth: 65 Short-Short Stories

Sudden Flash Youth: 65 Short-Short Stories

by Christine Perkins-Hazuka
     
 

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A unique collection. The only anthology of short-short stories to focus on youth.
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

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Overview

A unique collection. The only anthology of short-short stories to focus on youth.
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.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
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.)
Flamingnet

...shows the truth of the teenage years...definitely recommended.

VOYA - Christina Miller
Each short, short story (1,000 words or less) in this anthology features young people in their "formative years of choice and challenges." The title is a double entendre; in addition to describing the fictional genre, the stories' characters experience sudden flashes of insight about themselves, their parents, or the world they were once too young, too inexperienced, or too unscathed to see. They are old enough to assert their independence, have virtual and real sex, rebel against or accept their family's values, make the right decisions or those they will come to regret. They are powerful and powerless. The stories cut to the chase and reveal terrible losses, traumatic events, and pivotal moments when a "door is unlocked." The characters are rich and poor; black and white; male and female; Catholic, Jewish and Muslim; straight or gay; and native or immigrant, but all come of age American-style, on tar-topped or cyber highways, on ferries, in schoolyards and gymnasiums, slammed against a wall, or on the receiving end of their father's hand. Their pain, revelations, disillusionment, shame, and disappointment forge connections, shape identities and propel them into adulthood. The sixty-five authors included in this collection include America's most celebrated and others published for the first time, some seasoned flash fictionalists and others new to this genre. The authors succeed in cutting a "broad swath of America" to fulfill the editors' intent: to illustrate the diversity in America's growing up ordeal. Teens and adults alike will relish each story in this remarkable collection. Reviewer: Christina Miller

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780892553716
Publisher:
Persea Books
Publication date:
12/15/2011
Pages:
224
Sales rank:
768,478
Product dimensions:
5.30(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.60(d)
Age Range:
14 - 17 Years

Meet 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.

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