Mixed Company: Stories

Mixed Company: Stories

by Jenny Shank
Mixed Company: Stories

Mixed Company: Stories

by Jenny Shank

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In Mixed Company Jenny Shank reveals moments of grace and connection between people of her hometown, Denver, through stories that contrast the city during its oil-bust era of economic troubles and court-ordered crosstown busing for racial desegregation with the burgeoning and gentrifying city of recent years.

In “Casa del Rey,” a cautious pregnant woman must contend with her out-of-control and intrusive neighbor. In “Hurts,” a girls’ basketball team at a majority Black Denver high school clashes with a white mountain team. In “La Sexycana,” a bottom-feeding journalist ventures to a dance club to confront the young Latina woman she mentored as a teenager who then cut off all contact with her. “Lightest Lights Against Darkest Darks” follows a white middle schooler bused to a majority Black school who falls under the spell of her magnetic and racially ambiguous art teacher. In “Signing for Linemen,” a graduate student in medieval literature takes a job as a summer tutor for a college football team and ends up learning more than she expected about athletes, American Sign Language, and herself. In “Local Honey,” middle-aged white parents bring their adopted Black teenage son to a Wu-Tang Clan concert in an attempt to bond with him.

Characters find their initial perceptions and ideas overturned in these stories laced with humor, heart, and grit. Jenny Shank forges fiction out of the sparks that fly when diverse people encounter one another.

Winner of The 2020 George Garrett Fiction Prize, selected by Joe Wilkins
Fiction Winner of the 2022 Colorado Book Awards

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781680032628
Publisher: Texas Review Press
Publication date: 12/21/2021
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: eBook
Pages: 245
File size: 570 KB

About the Author

JENNY SHANK’s novel The Ringer won the High Plains Book Award. Her writing has appeared in The Atlantic, The Washington Post, The Guardian, the Los Angeles Times and McSweeney’s. Her work has been honorably mentioned by Best American Essays, the Pushcart Prize, and her mother. She teaches in the Mile High MFA program at Regis University and the Lighthouse Writers Workshop in Denver.

Table of Contents


L’homme de ma vie 10
Lightest Lights Against Darkest Darks 34
Casa del Rey 55
Moonlight, Starlight, Boogie Won’t Be Out Tonight 73
La Sexycana 78
Last Summer’s Song 100
Hurts 104
Local Honey 119
Signing for Linemen 134
Community Relations 159
Every Happy Family 176
The Sit-In 180
Acknowledgments 203
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