In Charles Rafferty's "Dump," a simple garbage trip becomes a test of a newly single father's need for his children's safety. While he worries, they are carefree. He is left to ponder his daughters' responses to a world in which people leave--sometimes without returning.
A Clip on the Eardownload
James Claffey's "A Clip on the Ear" blends a Catholic litany with the rituals of a boy's Sundays at home in Ireland. It's a home presided over by a violent father who, when not away on the North Sea oil rigs, maintains strict control--over his wife, his children, the household rituals, and the litany itself. The boy seeks refuge in the hiding places of his home and in his fantasies of revenge.
Amy Yelin's essay "Torn" takes us through a daughter's experience guiding her father through the rituals following her mother's death. Then things get complicated, as Yelin deals with the discovery of her father's secretive relationship with another woman. In exploring that relationship, and the new family dynamic that emerges after its often humorous revelation, Yelin sheds light on the impulses that lead us to reject or welcome one another.
In Drew Balfour Jameson's short story "Drown," a fishing trip--and the gutting, cleaning, and cooking of the day's catch--provides the setting for a wary encounter between a teenaged boy and the new man in his mother's life. "Drown" renders the details of fish-handling with vivid detail, and allows the relationship between the boy and the man to emerge with subtelty, though just as clearly.
"What is it like to be the daughter of a Nazi?" That is the question Christiane Alsop sets out to answer in her essay "Presumed Guilty". Reflecting on her father's tales of his accounts during wartime Germany, contemplating her at-times strained relationship with her father over the years, and her own reactions to the ebb and flow of power, Christiane is torn by the equal tugs of resignation and revelation. Revelation wins out, as she conveys the moral, ethical, and personal challenges of living with that difficult question.
The Year We Ate Half A Cowdownload
Miriam Novogrodsky writes about growing up an outsider in Montpelier, Vermont, and the year her father's winter obsession turned to economical meat-eating and the creative use of the compost pile. This is a tale of chest freezers, prairie bonnets, and snowshoe picnics with unusual sandwiches.