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Whether from established authors or by writers new to fiction, the short stories in this volume explore life as change, using Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 as the lens.
The writers come from different backgrounds, perspectives, and levels of familiarity with the short story, but what ties them together is a willingness to creatively explore the raw and more uncomfortable dimensions of life--big events and small happenings--all bound up by a recognition of the inevitability and (dis)comfort of change. Each writer has a story to tell, a creative and imaginative angle on life as it happens somewhere to someone.
Life Sentences represents an experiment, a recognition of and confrontation with the depth of culture and culture's life maps, with the ways in which the joys and troubles of life are given meaning. This collection attempts to address these large (and small) challenges and dynamics of life without the jargon of the professional philosopher or theologian but with the more ""earthy"" language of popular culture: the short story.
""An enjoyable, thought-provoking read. Life Sentences is a glimpse into varied perspectives of existence through stories told by an assorted group of writers who are as diverse as the human experience; reminding us that as we search for its meaning, there is no one way to define life; for life is a journey unique to every individual.""
--Tajuana ""T J"" Butler, author of Hand-me-down Heartache (Villard, 2003) and Sorority Sisters (One World/Ballentine, 2007)
""This is an ambitious collection of stories; sharp, powerful stories as experienced and imagined by keen eyes and open hearts. They chart the many disappointments and moments of choice that occur in life. There is stellar writing here . . . moments of great and powerful prose. The diversity of voice and experience rings loudly and at once seduces. These are situations and circumstances that feel familiar. Readers will see themselves in these pages and they will feel the joy and trepidation that swirl between the covers of this book. These are stories that flow from life as it is lived. At the end of each story, I found myself reflecting on the issues and emotions I'd experienced and at the same time I I'd begin anticipating the journey that awaited me in the next. And by the time I finished 'Jack and Jill' by Colleton I was saddened by the fact that I had come to the end.
""This collection is well conceived and excellently well-rendered, a gem for readers who love life and seek the details of its many mysteries.""
--Alexs Pate, University of Minnesota, author of the New York Times Best Seller Amistad: The Novel (Signet, 1997)
About the Contributor(s):
Anthony B. Pinn is the Agnes Cullen Arnold Professor of Humanities and Professor of Religious Studies at Rice University. He is the author or editor of seventeen books including African American Humanist Principles: Living and Thinking Like the Children of Nimrod (Palgrave Macmillan, 2004) and Terror and Triumph: The Nature of Black Religion (Fortress, 2003).
Gregory M. T. Colleton is a screenwriter, actor, and director. Born in Evanston, Illinois, Colleton attended Macalester College and later joined the Teach for America program, where he taught composition, history, and violin to middle-school kids while spreading the gospel of Michael Jordan. He resides in Los Angeles but dreams of living back near the Windy City.