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Fiction. "TORNADO SEASON arrives as a storm is raging. Yet its stories urge us not to seek shelter, but to leave it. To walk out of our inner place of hiding and face the whirlwind. To recognize it. To acknowledge it and fight it. Ethnicity and culture alongside the U.S.-Mexico border; deportation and immigration; life in the U.S. foster care system--of these tumultuous subjects Courtney Craggett writes with honesty, a big heart, and a complete lack of sentimentality. She shows us ordinary people who suffer, dream, hope, and strive for something just a little bit better. And by doing so, she elevates these stories from the realm of the timely into that of the timeless. Long after the storm has passed, the stories in TORNADO SEASON will ring true and dear for they sing of the innermost yearning of the human heart for freedom, justice, and love."--Miroslav Penkov
"A lyrical, heartfelt collection, TORNADO SEASON exhibits a breathtaking range of styles, from the nuanced, long form spiral of its title story to flash fictional flights of fantasy, dystopia, and fairy tale. Craggett's imagination probes the vulnerability of children amidst fraught family situations, menacing nature, and the gross inequities of America's current immigration policies. These fifteen short stories shimmer with a steady current of empathy and the strength of deep convictions rendered lovely through the nimble language and bright imagery of Craggett's consistent, impressive talent."--Constance Squires
"In these stories about the intensity of family and the intimacy of bonds beyond blood, characters help each other, hurt each other, try to save each other, fail, succeed, cross borders, transgress, disrupt boundaries, and love each other so hard. Craggett's narratives are mystic, lyric, ecstatic, vivacious, and sometimes vicious, and the people in these pages are fierce and flawed, greedy and generous, broken and radiant and very alive. The vivid vision in TORNADO SEASON gives me hope that humanity might figure out how to be better, and that Craggett can show us how."--Erin Stalcup
|Publisher:||Black Lawrence Press|
|Product dimensions:||5.40(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.50(d)|
About the Author
Courtney Craggett's short stories appear in The Pinch, Mid-American Review, Washington Square Review, CutBank, and Booth, among others. Her reviews appear in American Microreviews and Interviews. She holds a PhD in creative writing and Mexican-American literature from the University of North Texas, where she served as the fiction editor for American Literary Review. She is an assistant professor of English at Weber State University.
Table of Contents
Kansas Before 1
Carnival Ride 28
Día De Gracias 31
Snow Globe 58
Aerial Spray 62
Also Lonely, Although On Land 64
Frontera Seca 75
Volcano Climber 83
Goodness And Mercy 92
Tornado Season 107
Til Morning 147
Tornado Season based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Reading Tornado Season is like stepping into the very heart of the human experience. Craggett paints her stories in bright, vivid colors, and uses their contrasting dull grays to explore grief and growth in a surprisingly poignant and hopeful way. She has filled 160 pages exploring what it means to be human, to grow up, to change with (and be changed by) the world around you. She ponders the loss of children and friends. She reflects on all the things she’s lost in herself along the way. And yet, for every piece of her that she loses, she still sees something good dimly in the distance. And for Craggett, that faint hope is both attainable and worth moving towards. Her entire work is a fascinating study on the relationship between hope and hopelessness, and I like how she allows both to coexist. The presence of one does not necessitate the complete absence of the other. When she signed my copy, she also wrote the words, “to the light ahead,” and I cannot think of a better toast to offer with this book. Light is what each story in Tornado Season seems to be chasing: light, color, and a capable and livable adjustment as we grieve the things we’ve loved and lost. Whether you’re the best you’ve ever been or struggling to find anything to hold on to, Tornado Season can teach you something about life and love that you might not otherwise see. I don’t often review books online, but I’d raise a glass to Courtney Craggett ten times over.
Tornado Season is a beautifully written collection of stories that creates deep and immersive worlds that draw you in and make you forget that they are works of fiction. Courtney Craggett shares a variety of stories rich with real emotions and real-life problems that tug at your heart. These stories are sure to frustrate and disappoint those looking for happy endings, nevertheless provide a wonderful read. Courtney Craggett’s writing carries a weight of realism and a wonderful exploration of the experience of grief and heartache of those facing some of life’s greatest and most terrible challenges. Engaging, impactful, and full of empathy these stories can transport you into a world and stir up your mind and your heart. Deep themes of family are presented as the characters are shaken by misunderstanding, abuse, and loss. Though tragic in content, the stories also shine with sparks of life and color and child-like wonder. Craggett’s writing leaves you wanting more, thirsty for the truth and fantasy spun together so masterfully. Her writing has a way of increasing appreciation for the suffering, grieving, and loneliness of humankind. No matter what challenges you’ve experienced, something in her stories is sure to resonate with you, and for whatever heartaches are outside your experience are sure to awaken awareness and empathy for those who encounter such heart-rending afflictions. It is possible you will shed a few tears as you read and wish the stories didn’t have to end. I thoroughly enjoyed Craggett’s perspectives and literary style.