Stories That Need to Be Told 2018 Paperback – November 9, 2018
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Lish Troba’s story, Just So, this year’s grand prize winner, is at once a coming-of-age story and that of a love triangle set against the rugged Talkeetna Mountains of Alaska. Our young and wild female protagonist, a “pure-blooded mountain baby,” goes into the wilderness to find someone to kill her, that she might die a martyr.
Winner of the Love Category is M.B. McLatchey’s A Good and Simple Meal. Set in North Weymouth, Massachusetts, 15 miles from Harvard University and in the shadow of “the colossal cranes of the Quincy Fore River Shipyard,” it tells of insurrectionist 3rd-grade teacher Miss D’s attempts to liberate her students from the tyranny of the Principal’s punitive brand of education. She changes the “Bad Behavior Book” to the “Big Ideas Book” and informs her apprehensive students that “yesterday’s misbehavers need not be today’s detainees.”
Kai Mawougbe’s prose poem Vignette Between Now and Morning beautifully captures the frailty of innocence and wonder. A barefoot child gains wings and at the invitation of an owl, follows the moon on a tour of the night before it is gone. We are left with the image of the child’s shoes on a window sill.
Significantly, the stories in this superb anthology are not identified as fiction or non-fiction. Editor Top is enamored of stories that add "greater dimension to the way that I make sense of the world," and these stories add dimension whether based on personal experience or borne in the depths of their authors’ fertile imaginations.