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ALYSIA ABBOTT Letting Him Go

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Alysia Abbott's essay tells the story of romantic risk--the risk of letting someone go in the hope and belief not only that it's the right thing to do, but also that it may be the only way to hold on. A Cat Power song, a striped shirt, and a Ukrainian restaurant all play a role in this tale of love.

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essaysmallrelationships

JO-ANN BEKKER Riptide

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The narrator of Jo-Ann Bekker's "Riptide" insists we can believe her. 'Believe me when I tell you,' she says, many times. The story asks us whether we can trust this tale of infidelity, and whether even the woman telling us the story is certain of anything beyond the strong pull of desire.

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smallshort fictionrelationships

PATRICIA BAKER Raking the Lizards

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There is a woman raking lizards down from a tree. There is a family to care for. There are errands to run. Our narrator wages war against the lizards who return each day, undefeated, but she fights other things, too, in a much more complicated battle.

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short fictionsmallfamilycrisis

AINE GREANEY The Man on the Train

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A train makes the perfect setting for this story about a woman in limbo--between jobs, between countries and cultures, between homes. Aine Greaney's "The Man on the Train" turns a conversation with a stranger into a study of belonging, as Lorna, Irish and recently arrived from her home in England, travels into Boston from her sister's suburban home.

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short fictionsmallrelationshipsfamily

CHRISTI CRAIG In Texas

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In her essay "In Texas," Christi Craig recalls her teenaged self facing a dilemma of faith and family. Should she admit to her grandmother that she cannot speak in tongues, or should she pretend she can so as not to reveal her distance from the religion that has always bound them together? Looking back, Craig examines the connections that have endured.

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essaysmallfamilycrisis

CHARLIE WATTS Five Wishes

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"Five Wishes" unfolds in as many episodes, each one telling a linked variation on a tale of a boy, his mother and father, a stream, a shovel, and a piece of purple quartz. Taken together, these episodes are like facets on a stone, revealing new insights on this little family while at the same time allowing us to see the heart of the story.

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short fictionfamilysmallrelationships

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