• • • WINNER — 2017 SUNSHOT BOOK PRIZE™ FOR FICTION • • •
A middle-aged secretary finds unlikely common ground with the death row inmate who may, or may not, have murdered her daughter. Superhero comics help a gay bar mitzvah boy cope with his discovery of his father's adulterous double life. A suburban businesswoman learns how to grieve a long-ago bereavement through her strange attraction to the birthmother of the child she wants to adopt. An elderly Russian professor crashes a stranger's wedding to prove that he is not losing his memory, inadvertently healing a decades-long rift between friends. In these and other stories, Reiter explores the fraught relationships among queer and straight family members, the search for a post-traumatic spirituality, and the fine line between soulmates and intimate enemies.
Jendi Reiter's debut story collection, An Incomplete List of My Wishes, received the 2017 Sunshot Book Prize. The stories in An Incomplete List of My Wishes have won prizes from such journals as The Iowa Review, New Letters, Bayou Magazine, Solstice Lit Mag, and American Fiction.
New York Times bestselling novelist Jacqueline Sheehan says of this collection: "Truth and humor are woven intricately, ripe with emotion and stripped down to the bone. You will read these again and again."
|Publisher:||New Millennium Writings|
|Product dimensions:||5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.37(d)|
About the Author
Table of Contents
Publication Acknowledgments viii
Two Natures 3
An Incomplete List of My Wishes 27
Today You Are a Man 37
Waiting for the Train to Fort Devens, June 17, 1943 53
Julian’s Yearbook 57
Five Assignments and a Mistake 68
The House of Correction 80
Memories of the Snow Queen 103
Taking Down the Pear Tree 110
Special Acknowledgments 145
About the Author 146
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Reviewed by Jack Messenger for Readers' Favorite Jendi Reiter’s An Incomplete List of My Wishes comprises mostly Southern tales (specifically, the state of Georgia), often set in the Reagan era of the 1980s. Important as the South is, however, it really serves as a cultural lens through which to see other, more personal themes: family, faith, ambition, memory, violence, death, error, regret, sexuality – above all, gayness. Gayness (male and female) in the 1980s in the South could only emerge in a hostile environment, so that children and teenagers aware of the direction their bodies are taking have the added burden of concealment, an instinctive survival technique that can so often confuse and dismay. The eleven wonderful short stories collected together for the first time in An Incomplete List of My Wishes have already won a number of prestigious literary prizes. This new compilation deserves a special prize of its own. From first to last, short to long, and without exception, these stories are never less than beautiful exemplars of the form, written by an author capable of anything, it seems, except second best. A monograph could be written about each of the eleven, for they all accomplish so much on different levels within their short span. Many of them are quietly moving, surprising the reader with their emotional dexterity, their complexities of tone and points of view. All provoke thought and feeling, an experience of having lived something one might not otherwise have known. Jendi Reiter’s An Incomplete List of My Wishes will only begin to give up its secrets after repeated readings. And while some of its more arcane references and allusions to popular US culture will not be recognized by non-Americans, it hardly matters. We can still be reminded to cherish love and kindness in all their manifestations, to sorrow for mistakes and injustices, to value people whose impulse is for life, to enjoy the art of the short story at its most sublime.