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A Conversation With Best Debut Short Stories 2020 Author Shannon Sanders
“Every interaction between adult siblings presents a chance to get more clarity about the past. Hopefully, we’re able to seize at least some of these chances.”
Theo had come all the way from New York with no luggage. From the parking lot Miles watched him spring from the train and weave past the other travelers, sidestepping their children and suitcases with practiced finesse, first of anyone to make it across the steaming platform. His hair was shaved close on the sides, one thick strip left to grow skyward from the crown of his head. In his dark, lean clothing, hands shoved deep in his pockets, he was a long streak of black against the brightly colored crowd. He alone had reached their father’s full height.
He made no eye contact with Miles as he strode to the car and yanked at the door handle, as he folded himself in half and dropped heavily into the passenger seat, releasing a long breath.
“Fucking hot,” he said, pulling the door shut.
Miles threw the car into drive and steered out of the parking lot, out of the knot of station traffic. “Summertime,” he said by way of assent.
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A Roundtable With the PEN America Best Debut Short Stories Judges: Sabrina Orah Mark, Emily Nemens, and Deesha Philyaw
Many of the stories felt written on the edge of an edge of an edge of a world.
Learn about Mathapelo Mofokeng’s short story “The Strong-Strong Winds,” which was selected for ‘Best Debut Short Stories 2021.’
“The most innocent thing you can do is want to create”: Robert J. Dau Prize Winner Isaac Hughes Green
Learn about Isaac Hughes Green’s short story “The First Time I Said It,” which was selected for ‘Best Debut Short Stories 2021.’
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“Inspiration came from the stupid pencil jar our family had when I was growing up.”
“I wanted to portray the pain of trying to reach someone who is inside their own, unreachable pain, and how this often puts untenable pressure on relationships.”