Insurrections: Stories

Insurrections: Stories

by Rion Amilcar Scott


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A suicidal father looks to an older neighbor — and the Cookie Monster — for salvation and sanctuary as his life begins to unravel. A man seeking to save his estranged, drug-addicted brother from the city's underbelly confronts his own mortality. A chess match between a girl and her father turns into a master class about life, self-realization, and pride: "Now hold on little girl.... Chess is like real life. The white pieces go first so they got an advantage over the black pieces."

These are just a few glimpses into the world of the residents of the fictional town of Cross River, Maryland, a largely black settlement founded in 1807 after the only successful slave revolt in the United States. Raw, edgy, and unrelenting yet infused with forgiveness, redemption, and humor, the stories in this collection explore characters suffering the quiet tragedies of everyday life and fighting for survival.

In Insurrections, Rion Amilcar Scott's lyrical prose authentically portrays individuals growing up and growing old in an African American community. Writing with a delivery and dialect that are intense and unapologetically current, Scott presents characters who dare to make their own choices — choices of kindness or cruelty — in the depths of darkness and hopelessness. Although Cross River's residents may be halted or deterred in their search for fulfillment, their spirits remain resilient — always evolving and constantly moving.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780813174402
Publisher: University Press of Kentucky
Publication date: 07/20/2017
Series: University Press of Kentucky New Poetry & Prose Series
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 208
Sales rank: 736,287
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

Rion Amilcar Scott teaches English at Bowie State University. He earned an MFA at George Mason University, where he won both the Mary Roberts Rinehart Award and a Completion Fellowship. His work has appeared in publications such as the Kenyon Review, Crab Orchard Review, PANK, The Rumpus, Fiction International, the Washington City Paper, The Toast, and Confrontation.

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

"Rion Amilcar Scott's Insurrections is a rich and vibrant collection of short stories about the citizens of the fictional town Cross River, Maryland. Like the tales of old, these stories speak with a resonant truth, an irrefutable wisdom. And they stay with you because every word comes from the author's humor and from his humanity. This is a masterful debut, an important and necessary contribution to American letters." — Jeffery Renard Allen, author of the novels Song of the Shank and Rails Under My Back

"A wildly impressive and ambitious collection of stories, Rion Amilcar Scott's Insurrections affirms that it can be the smallest human choices — of tenderness, kindness, and cruelty, that make our people, and our world, what it is." — Lisa Williams, author of Gazelle in the House

"Rion Amilcar Scott's Insurrections announces an urgent, clarion new voice in the American short story. This is a collection bursting at the seams with voice, with lexicon and ache, with the beating heart of a broad chorus on a confined canvas. It brings to mind a wide range of our finest story writers, past and present: Flannery O'Connor and Edward P Jones, Junot Diaz and even David Foster Wallace. Read this book. Read it slowly, like it deserves, but read it right now, and savor it." — Daniel Torday, author of The Last Flight of Poxl West

"Scott is a deeply talented writer who has managed that most precarious of fusions while dealing with important subject matter: a recognition of life's complexity combined with writing that sings." — Courtney Brkic, author of  The First Rule of Swimming

"The characters of Insurrections are confronted with the near impossible task of escaping the long shadow of memory. What binds these tales of family rupture and thwarted hopes is a deep empathy, which courses through the pages like a powerful current. Rion Amilcar Scott is the real deal: a writer with vision, wit, intelligence, and fierce feeling." — Ravi Mangla, author of Understudies

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