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Sometimes we find ourselves in unexpected and peculiar situations. What makes us stronger—and extraordinary—is the grace with which we handle ourselves during those times. In “Paternity Test” two new fathers are coming to terms with parenthood, both in the middle of personal dilemmas. “Everyone Says I’m Dorothy” tells the story of a costume shop owner that can’t understand why someone who is the spitting image of a well-known celebrity resents it so much. “Kum Ba Yah” deals with a man who discovers that his recently deceased grandmother had been keeping a secret, one which deals directly with a significant piece of Americana. The title story features a man visiting the Holy Land with his family, where his mother exhibits some behaviors that don’t reconcile with his memory of her. A majority of the stories in the collection are on this theme; the remaining stories cover ideas ranging from a zoo administrator trying to manage an unlikely protest (“Setting Loose the Marmosets”), to a man making a pilgrimage to a John Cage-related function in Germany in place of his late wife (“Six Three Nine”), to a pair of stories dealing with the discovery of baby mice in a tent bag (“A Wake” and “At Some Point, You Were New”).
Publishing date: January 22, 2022
Paperback: 242 pages
Dimensions: 6 x 0.43 x 9 inches
Peter Barlow serves as an adjunct professor at the University of Detroit Mercy. He has one other collection of short fiction, Little Black Dots (Chatter House Press, 2017).