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Back and Forth: A Collection of Short Stories

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Back and Forth is a collection of four short stories that explore cultural elements of the Philippines through folktales, magic, and loss. Each story features main characters that are discovering how to navigate through life after something jarring happens to

Back and Forth is a collection of four short stories that explore cultural elements of the Philippines through folktales, magic, and loss. Each story features main characters that are discovering how to navigate through life after something jarring happens to them. In learning how to move on, they learn more about themselves, their culture, and their identity. In “Back and Forth,” the main character, Lita, learns about the magic of the world and how she herself possesses it, something that is passed down from her grandmother. However, she is forced to hide it away if she wants to live a normal life. When her aunt starts acting weird, it’s up to Lita to race against time and relearn the magic within. “The Viewing,” takes place in the United States, and the main character, Diwata, is a biracial woman that has to maneuver her way through a viewing for one of her favorite relatives while also being confronted by the brashness of white relatives that don’t appreciate her being a part of their family. Tala, the main character of “The Mound Dwellers,” must turn to an old legend that she had learned as a child to find her own daughter that has gone missing. Only after finally giving in and listening to her mother about what she suspects happened, does Tala begin to make progress. “Snowed In” is about a woman who is getting over the loss of her husband. She works through the grief by cooking his favorite recipe, a traditional Filipino dish, over and over again. Each time she finishes, it’s not quite right. By the end of the story, she finally perfects the recipe, and there’s nothing left for her to do but deal with her grief head-on. Each story, though not related to each other directly, features characters that have to unravel the mystery of their new identities after a major life change.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
2019-05

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A Typical American Manner

Description

Three years ago, after skateboarding back from a calculus study session, Delaney Kranz was smushed by a car on the corner of Myrtle and University. This made her panic about the brevity of life, and, when she could walk again,

Three years ago, after skateboarding back from a calculus study session, Delaney Kranz was smushed by a car on the corner of Myrtle and University. This made her panic about the brevity of life, and, when she could walk again, she studied abroad three times, hitting eleven countries across Europe. A Typical American Manner is a record of Kranz’s sardonic and often-brutal view of the world. This collection of short stories shows the accounts of a young woman struggling to figure out her identity, to figure out the worth of introspective storytelling, and to figure what it means to be a traveler, or really, what it means to be a human being at all.

This collection was written throughout a four-year period and features stories from Arizona, England, Greece, Italy, Germany and smack-dab in the middle of Silicon Valley, California. The narrative style changes gradually over time as Kranz herself changes, notably becoming less of an edgy, angry shitlord and (a little) more of a polished writer. Kranz detests pretentiousness and is often self-admonishing to the max. She does, however, break the wall of dark humor and sarcasm to allow for a handful of tender moments of self-reflection and peace—always in bizarre settings, of course, like the middle of a Korean supermarket or in the El Paisano’s liquor and burrito store on Lemon Street. The moments are there nonetheless.

A Typical American Manner is Delaney’s story, or at least, one of them. If you read it, she hopes you like it. Or that you hate it. She hopes it makes you feel something—either way is good.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
2020-05

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Paraprosdokian: A Short Story Collection

Description

Paraprosdokian is a collection of stories about all different types of lives in Phoenix, AZ. There are several stories that work together, involving lonely teenagers at punk house shows, while the rest standalone: the eclectic interactions of a waiter at

Paraprosdokian is a collection of stories about all different types of lives in Phoenix, AZ. There are several stories that work together, involving lonely teenagers at punk house shows, while the rest standalone: the eclectic interactions of a waiter at a 24-hour diner, a blind fair ride operator with a propensity for accidental murder, a hapless son of a clumsy dental assistant, a literary scholar stuck in an addiction to both Kafka and pornography, a kid who learns that writing is not a formula, and a high school death that nobody cares about. Some pieces unfold parts of 21st century culture that have been knotted in ambivalence, like how men raised on pornography reconcile with intimacy, while others are as simple as trying to encapsulate the experience of growing up in what is often perceived as an artless suburbia. The project aims at mixing prose with photography to create, as Ben Lerner describes it, “a constellation of language and image”—a complete artistic product. Using the work of a local Arizona photographer, the collection complicates a reader’s elementary notion of a “picture book” by forcing the reader to view photographs beyond exposition or symbolism. The title of the collection comes from a term used in comedic rhetoric that refers to a figure of speech in which the latter part of a statement or phrase reorients one’s understanding of the whole. Under this definition, the collection seeks to amend its author and reader’s orientation to Phoenix in a quest for empathy, giving pathetic characters a chance to speak without ever sacrificing a touch of humorous joy.

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Created

Date Created
2018-05

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Playing the Changes: Four Stories of Music, Death, and the Unknown

Description

There are no words for the trauma of death when it strikes unexpectedly. What to say when a mother dies in childbirth? When a father figure contracts an unknown disease for no apparent cause? When a beloved pet, long mourned,

There are no words for the trauma of death when it strikes unexpectedly. What to say when a mother dies in childbirth? When a father figure contracts an unknown disease for no apparent cause? When a beloved pet, long mourned, may still be alive and hidden by estranged family? Generations may pass, and children may grow up, but the pain leaves marks that echo across time and the other borders we construct between our past and present. We may find strength on solitude, or prayer, or the words of a song written by someone else. In these four stories, spanning almost half a century, the marks of death and attempts to soothe or hide them are everywhere. Children on the cusp of adulthood grapple with the lives and the lies of their parents. Musicians examine the relationship of their music to the world. Legends and myths lurk in the shadows, tempting with false hope and rationalizing the unexplainable.
In “Playing the Changes,” we meet two men stranded in a small desert town in 1972, a time when their attraction to each other is still dangerous. Nile Walker is a jazz musician, running from a spurned lover and the law. Benji Garza is a once-devout Catholic, fixing cars and caring for his orphaned nephew, Hector. Walker and Garza’s affair will spin both lives and their heredity into sweeping tragedies that characters battle with lust and melody. Walker has a son he never meets, a drifter who finds connection with another lost soul at an airport in “La Petite Mort.” Hector is forced into early adulthood in “The Words,” when his ailing uncle’s health fails due to a mysterious disease not yet called AIDS. Later Tre—a young man struggling with the weight of his own lineage—meets him in “PHX.” These stories examine questions of death’s causes and its myriad effects, and offer this solution: Knowing that we cannot know everything, and living, loving, and singing anyway.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2016-05

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Long Exhalations

Description

This creative project consists of three short stories with a common theme of release, letting go, and exhalation. Nymphal Instar is a story about Tommy, a young boy, and his encounter with his uncle, a troubled man who has just

This creative project consists of three short stories with a common theme of release, letting go, and exhalation. Nymphal Instar is a story about Tommy, a young boy, and his encounter with his uncle, a troubled man who has just returned from war. The story explores the idea of growth and maturation, and the ability to move past and let go of trauma. A Cat Goes Away is about a young man, Richard, who is required to simultaneously deal with the loss of his cat and the suicide attempts of his sister. He also runs into his sister's ex-husband and is forced to deal with him. The story explores the difficulty in recognizing one's own emotions and the importance of knowing the difference between what one can change and what one cannot. Since Diagnosis is a story about Kate, a woman who has just been diagnosed with cancer and who is unable to tell her loved ones. The story explores acceptance and the idea that letting go can allow one to live more fully. Though the three stories are disparate in their characters and events, they share a commonality in their endings and in the final realizations of the characters. There is a focus on the importance of breath and breathing, and the essentiality of acceptance and release.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2016-05

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Global Young Adult Literature in the Classroom: The Benefits of Introducing Global Texts to High School Students

Description

The changing student demographics of schools in the US offer opportunities to introduce new curriculum. Schools are seeing an increase in the diversity within classrooms, including an increase in the amount of students from other countries. This project discusses the

The changing student demographics of schools in the US offer opportunities to introduce new curriculum. Schools are seeing an increase in the diversity within classrooms, including an increase in the amount of students from other countries. This project discusses the potential benefits of introducing four specific Global Young Adult novels to high school classrooms in hopes of achieving a more culturally-responsive classroom. These novels include: Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Now Is the Time for Running by Michael Williams, Climbing the Stairs by Padma Venkatraman, and The Red Umbrella by Christina Gonzalez. As there are many arguments for Global YA Literature, this project focuses on the themes of the novels and the implications for the classroom. From a thematic approach, these four novels offer insight into the fluid nature of culture, as the characters must balance different identities as they move around the world. These themes can be used to create dialogue between students on cultural identity and how cultural surroundings affect their identities. These novels can also give students a more empathetic approach as they encounter cultural differences, creating a better community within the classroom.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2015-12

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Lift: A Short Story Collection

Description

For this project, I have written a trilogy of interrelated short stories. The three stories are entitled "The Blue Bike," "Heartbeat," and "Elevators." Each of these three stories relate to each other both through the featured characters and the core

For this project, I have written a trilogy of interrelated short stories. The three stories are entitled "The Blue Bike," "Heartbeat," and "Elevators." Each of these three stories relate to each other both through the featured characters and the core themes. The little girl from the first story, Amy, is the little sister of the narrator Emma from the second story. The narrator from the third story is the son of Charles (Helen's husband) from the first story, who is also a major character in "Elevators." The gym in the second story also appears in the third story. On a thematic and poetic level, I have used the word "lift" as the inspiration behind and connecting thread between my stories. I have played with the various meanings of connotations of the word, using them to construct the plots of each story. For example, I have used it in the sense of face lifts in the first story, as well as alluded to the idea of planes lifting into the air through making Charles a pilot. There is also the idea of lifting a child into your arms, and lifting yourself or someone else up both physically and emotionally. In the second story, I use shop-lifting, weight-lifting, and the idea of giving someone a lift as in giving someone a ride. The idea of giving someone a lift also occurs in the last story, alongside the connotations of lift with elevators. There are a multitude of other instances in which I have tried to make the word "lift" resonate throughout these stories, though the over-arching theme for me would be the idea of lifting other people up. It is the exploration of meaningful connections between people and the way those connections can heal and "lift." This collection is thus an exercise in creative interconnectivity as well as an exploration of the way people can connect meaningfully to each other.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2016-05

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These Days: Stories

Description

The two stories and five vignettes contained within These Days reflect the disparate experiences of people struggling to find fulfillment in modern life, searching for connection and intimacy in a digital age. The stories reflect a broad range of experiences,

The two stories and five vignettes contained within These Days reflect the disparate experiences of people struggling to find fulfillment in modern life, searching for connection and intimacy in a digital age. The stories reflect a broad range of experiences, a 20-something experiencing the futility of love, to a retired professor who can do nothing to stop his mind deteriorating from dementia. The five vignettes are impressionistic sketches that in the same way capture the malaise and frustration of modernity. These stories capture such topics as infidelity, toxic marriages and abusive relationships, and apathy. These stories explore an unfulfillment and disillusionment with modern life, the disconnect between observation and experience, and the inability to connect or communicate meaningfully with anyone. The stories are objective in tone and narrow in scope, reflecting diverse but fleeting experiences, as people try and often fail to find meaning or contentment.

Contributors

Created

Date Created
2018-05

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1999

Description

Short fiction revolving around the Y2K scare, written from three perspectives. Explores the fear and uncertainty prevalent during the time and how it affected actions and relationships.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2014-05