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All That Work and Still No Boys

How do we survive our family, stay bound to our community, and keep from losing ourselves?  In All That Work and Still No Boys, Kathryn Ma exposes the deepest fears and longings that we mask in family life and observes the long shadows cast by history and displacement. 

Here are ten stories that wound and satisfy in equal measure. Ma probes the immigrant experience, most particularly among northern California’s Chinese Americans, illuminating for us the confounding nature of duty, transformation, and loss. A boy exposed to racial hatred finds out the true difference between his mother and his father. Two old rivals briefly lay down their weapons, but loneliness and despair won’t let them forget the past. A young Beijing tour guide with a terrible family secret must take an adopted Chinese girl and her American family to visit an orphanage. And in the prize-winning title story, a mother refuses to let her son save her life, insisting instead on a sacrifice by her daughter. 

Intimate in detail and universal in theme, these stories give us the compelling voice of an exciting new author whose intelligence, insight, and wit impart a sense of grace to the bitter resentments and enduring ties that comprise family love. Even through the tensions Ma creates so deftly, the peace and security that come from building and belonging to one’s own community shine forth.

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All the Governor's Men

A Mountain Brook Novel

Katherine Clark

It’s the summer of George Wallace’s last run for governor of Alabama in 1982, and the state is at a crossroads. In Katherine Clark’s All the Governor’s Men, a political comedy of manners that reimagines Wallace’s last campaign, voters face a clear choice between the infamous segregationist, now a crippled old man in a wheelchair, and his primary opponent, Aaron Osgood, a progressive young candidate poised to liberate the state from its George Wallace–poisoned past. Daniel Dobbs, a twenty one-year-old Harvard graduate and South Alabama native, is one of many young people who have joined the campaign representing hope and change for a downtrodden Alabama. A political animal himself, Daniel possesses so much charm and charisma that he was nicknamed “the Governor” in college. Nowhe is engaged in the struggle to conquer once and for all the malignant man Alabamians have traditionally called “the Governor.” This historic election isn’t the only thing Daniel wants to win. During his senior year, he fell in love with a freshman girl from Mountain Brook, the “Tiny Kingdom” of wealth and privilege, a world apart from his own Alabama origins. A small-town country boy, Daniel desperately wants to gain the favor of his girlfriend’s family along with her mentor, the larger-than-life English teacher Norman Laney. Daniel also wants to keep one or two ex-girlfriends firmly out of the picture. In the course of his summer, he must untangle his complicated personal life, satisfy the middle-class dreams of his parents for their Harvard-educated son, decide whether to enter law school or launch his own political career, and, incidentally, help his candidate defeat George Wallace, in a close and increasingly dirty race. All the Governor’s Men is a darkly comic look at both the political process in general and a significant political chapter in Alabama history. This second novel in Katherine Clark’s Mountain Brook series depicts the social and political landscape of an Alabama world that is at once a place like no other and at the same time, a place like all others.

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All the News I Need

a novel

Joan Frank

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Allegiance and Betrayal

Stories

by Peter Makuck

Allegiance and Betrayal” is comprised of a dozen short stories, all dealing with family in one way or another. The stories are set in New England and the South, including specific locations such as Connecticut and coastal North Carolina. Makuck writes about an offshore fishing trip to settle old scores, a scuba diving experience that rescues a friendship, a family reunion that turns ugly on the subject of religion, a widower trying to survive, and a house painter discovering a need to deal with chronic anger, amongst others. Makuck examines the conflicts of human nature, and the universality and significance of familial relationships. His stories uncover cultural and psychological distances between people, distances that remain present despite society’s technologically-fused attempts at closing these gaps.

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Alligators May Be Present

A Novel

Andrew Furman

While many Jews have picked Florida as the perfect place to retire, Matt Glassman has chosen it as the place to begin his adulthood. Perhaps that's because the pressures of life have always reminded him about his grandfather who mysteriously disappeared from the family twenty years ago. Now, while he tries to begin a family of his own, he also builds a relationship with the one person who might know the truth about his grandfather?s disappearance: his grandmother. She's remained stubbornly reticent on the topic all these years, but when a familiar old man shows up at Glassman's office he thinks he may finally get some answers.

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Almost Gone

Brian Sousa

Brian Sousa leaves sentiment and saudade behind in Almost Gone, a linked collection spanning four generations of a Portuguese immigrant family. In this hardscrabble world, the youth struggle with the secrets left behind by their elders, as their parents fought through the pain and joy of assimilation. Told through various perspectives, Almost Gone is a working-class tale of survival that finds no easy answers, but cuts straight to the bone.

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Along the Journey River

A Mystery

Carole laFavor

Several sacred artifacts have gone missing from the Minnesota Red Earth Reservation and the suspect list is continuously growing. While it could be the racists from the bordering town, or a young man struggling with problems at home, or the county coroner and his cronies, the need for answers and apprehending the culprit is amplified when Jed Morriseau, the Tribal Chairman, is murdered. Investigating these mysterious occurrences because of tribal traditions and the honor of her family, Renee LaRoche works to track down the people responsible. But can she maintain her intense investigation as well as her new relationship with Samantha Salisbury, the visiting women’s studies professor at the white college nearby? Renee is caught between the traditions of her tribe and efforts to help her chimook lover accept their cultural differences. 

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Along These Highways

Rene S. Perez II

Rene Perez has the ability to stop time. In fact, time stops as soon as you start reading one of his short stories. You find yourself transported into the minds and lives of people you thought you didn't know. Suddenly they are your best friends.
They live in Texas. Most of them are Hispanic. But their problems are universal.
Like Alfredo, driving home from Dallas to Greenton with the body of his friend "Frankie" Ochoa in the back of his hearse and his son Ramon ready to drive if Alfredo's eyesight fails again.
Or Joey, just back from basic training and ready to ship out with his Marine platoon. He's having beers with his best friend J.R. at Flojo's, a bar outside of Greenton run by Liz and Vicente, "the toughest couple in town."
Or Benny, who drops into Flojo's for the first time in years and finds his one-time friend Gumby drinking himself into oblivion. Turns out Gumby's luck is even worse than Benny's.
Or Virginia, the schoolteacher who's trying to become better educated in the hope that her son who went to Stanford will come back home to Corpus Christi. Or Eric, who spent all his money on two flashy wheels for his car and put them both on the passenger side so that they'll impress everyone on the sidewalk as he passes. Or Andy, who breaks into a home he's always wanted to see from the inside.
You'll want to know them all. And you will count yourself fortunate to have met them.

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Alternative Alices

Visions and Revisions of Lewis Carroll's Alice Books

edited by Carolyn Sigler

Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland (1865) and Through the Looking Glass (1871) are among the most enduring works in the English language. In the decades following their publication, writers on both sides of the Atlantic produced no fewer than two hundred imitations, revisions, and parodies of Carroll's fantasies for children. Carolyn Sigler has gathered the most interesting and original of these responses to the Alice books, many of them long out of print. Produced between 1869 and 1930, these works trace the extraordinarily creative, and often critical, response of diverse writers. These writers -- male and female, radical and conservative -- appropriated Carroll's structures, motifs, and themes in their Alice-inspired works in order to engage in larger cultural debates. Their stories range from Christina Rossetti's angry subversion of Alice's adventures, Speaking Likenesses (1874), to G.E. Farrow's witty fantasy adventure, The Wallypug of Why (1895), to Edward Hope's hilarious parody of social and political foibles, Alice in the Delighted States (1928). Anyone who has ever followed Alice down the rabbit hole will enjoy the adventures of her literary siblings in the wide Wonderland of the human imagination.

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Amadis of Gaul, Books I and II

Garci R. de Montalvo. translated by Edwin Place and Herbert Behm, foreward by John E. Keller. introduction by John E. Keller

In the long history of European prose fiction, few works have been more influential and more popular than the romance of chivalry Amadis of Gaul. Although its original author is unknown, it was probably written during the early fourteenth century. The first great bestseller of the age of printing, Amadis of Gaul was translated into dozens of languages and spawned sequels and imitators over the centuries. A handsome, valiant, and undefeatable knight, Amadis is perhaps best known today as Don Quixote's favorite knight-errant and model. This exquisite English translation restores a masterpiece to print.

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