An Incomplete List of My Wishes

An Incomplete List of My Wishes


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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."

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781944977207
Publisher: New Millennium Writings
Publication date: 10/01/2018
Pages: 162
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.37(d)

About the Author

Jendi Reiter is the author of the novel Two Natures (Saddle Road Press) and four poetry books and chapbooks, most recently Bullies in Love (Little Red Tree). Awards include a Massachusetts Cultural Council Fellowship for Poetry, the New Letters Prize for Fiction, the Wag's Revue Poetry Prize, the Bayou Magazine Editor's Prize in Fiction, and two awards from the Poetry Society of America. Two Natures won the Rainbow Award for Best Gay Contemporary Fiction and was a finalist for the Book Excellence Awards and the Lascaux Prize for Fiction. Reiter is the editor of, an online resource site with contests and markets for creative writers. For literary news, readings, and reviews, visit and follow @JendiReiter on Twitter.

Table of Contents

Publication Acknowledgments viii

Exodus 1

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

Altitude 65

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

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An Incomplete List of My Wishes 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
ReadersFavorite More than 1 year ago
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.