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Trip Wires

Stories

Sandra Hunter

Co-winner of the 2017 Leapfrog Fiction Contest

Foreword Reviews Book of the Day, June 13, 2018

What does an Afghani boy who sings Beyoncé have in common with a Los Angeles woman hosting a Sudanese refugee?

These stories, many of them told by children, are set against turbulent sociopolitical backdrops around the world. The terrain changes, but all these young people face the dilemma of being without resources even as they try to find and hold onto human relationships. Despite facing tragedy and insurmountable challenges, they show humanity and grace, and remind us of the best in ourselves.

Trip Wires is a collection of short stories about the horrors of war, refugee experiences, privilege, and racism. Narrated by children and young adults, each story has themes of profound human connection, love, and unspeakable loss…. Racism, classism, and injustice are captured in ways that ignite justified feelings of rage…. [A] beautifully written collection, both poetic and melancholic. Deeply moving, and often grim and uncomfortable in their confrontations of unimaginable tragedies, each story evokes a bold, emotional response.” —Foreword Reviews

“With startling breadth of vision, Trip Wires reveals the raw and tender material of our common humanity across borders--from a Sudanese refugee in Glasgow, to the survivor of a Colombian paramilitary kidnapping, to young soldiers in the Middle East whose emotional armor is breached by defiantly joyful children. The standout tale ‘Brother’s Keeper’ channels Flannery O’Connor to expose the underside of white Christian benevolence toward Africans. Hunter restores these displaced persons to the center of their own life story. For immigrants and wanderers everywhere, gratitude takes a backseat to homesickness, and rescue is not the same as safety. This is a searing and politically timely collection.”—Jendi Reiter, editor of WinningWriters.com and author of the Rainbow Award-winning novel Two Natures

“In spare and unflinching prose, the stories in Trip Wires depict children and young adults struggling to deal with the brutal consequences of war and social upheaval. These are not always easy stories to read, but they are extremely important, profoundly meaningful, and utterly unforgettable. I am deeply grateful to Sandra Hunter for the courageous and sympathetic way she tells these young people’s tales.”—Jean Hegland, author of Into the Forest

“Like their namesake, the stories populating Trip Wires are mercilessly taut. Told largely from the perspectives of youths torn from their roots by war, these are stories that carry like radio signals across terrains of unrest and displacement. Ms. Hunter’s juxtaposition of settings—Afghanistan, then Los Angeles; Syria, then again to the city of angels—heightens the immigrant’s sense of diasporic otherness in places both near and far from home. This is what life looks like when conflict repaints the canvas against which her characters seek love, family and a moment’s stability. Her keen eye for twinned details—the fleeting safety of an imam’s lap is set against a prayer rug in the back room of a California suburban home, far from neighbors’ eyes—lends this collection a rare power and poignancy. Not to be missed.” —David Rocklin, author of The Luminist

Trip Wires, Sandra Hunter’s stunning new collection, offers powerful stories with a myriad of memorable characters, each of whom receives their due respect and sympathy in the telling of his or her story. Hunter is not afraid to place her characters in the direst of circumstances, while showing compassion and understanding for their plights. A unique collection by a very talented writer.”—Peg Alford Pursell, author of Show Her A Flower, A Bird, A Shadow

“In Trip Wires, Sandra Hunter deftly traverses the globe to fraught landscapes of war, protest, imprisonment, kidnapping, and escape. She uncoils the violence of conflict, of barbed wires and radio wires, iron jails and mental jails that cause a people to humiliate and murder their own, or those not like them. But within this poignant collection, there’s a thread that compels her characters to reach for survival, and it’s this gossamer wire, these small miracles of love, that electrify her stories.”—Shilpa Agarwal, author of Haunting Bombay

Sandra Hunter’s Trip Wires shows us what we’re most afraid of and what we most dearly love. Its stories are linked by compassion, which Hunter as author practices as well as her characters. The collection moves us across the globe, from Syria to Colombia to Los Angeles to spaces beyond and in between, into war and prison, into protest, and into the homes of families left at home waiting. These characters find revelations—wounding truths—in daily life: in radios, in baked peppers, in streetlights. Here Hunter explores the internal worlds of children, teenagers, mothers, and fathers; she is activistic in her tenderness and her attention to each perspective. Equipped with kindness and acuity, this writer reminds us of the weight of the world as well as our ability to carry it.—Cassidy McCants, associate editor of Nimrod International

About the Author

Author

Sandra Hunter is the author of the novel Losing Touch (2014) and has received a long list of prizes for her short fiction, most recently a 2017 MacDowell Fellowship and second place in the 2017 Katherine Anne Porter Fiction Prize. She is a professor of creative writing at Moorpark College. Growing up as with Southeast Asian heritage in the UK, with time spent in Europe and Kenya, she felt herself to be between cultures and identities. The understanding that this feeling is shared with many people underpins much of her fiction.

TRIP WIRES • Sandra Hunter

180 pages • ISBN 978-1-935248-97-2 Trade paperback, $14.95 (ebook available) June 15, 2018

Published by Leapfrog Press LLC • www.leapfrogpress.com

Distributed to the trade by Consortium Book Sales & Distribution • www.cbsd.com

Trip Wires

 

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