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What follows in this anthology is a collection of stories, real or imagined, that have been carefully crafted into works of art on the theme of running away.... In many of them absence becomes presence—the absences created for those left behind or the absences created within those who leave, or even think about leaving, others behind. In every one of these stories something is missing, a parent, a feeling, or some essential part of the self.

It is no surprise that many of these stories are motivated by abuse.... In one case a teen mother sacrifices herself by returning to an abusive father to let her baby daughter go for what she hopes is essential medical care. Not many of us know where—or even how—to run, and though a few characters run to, most of them run from. But to or from, one thing comes clear to them and to the reader: you can run from yourself, but no one ever completely escapes.

The two prize-winning stories both involve rituals, one mysteriously invented, the other ill-conceived. And though both of the honorable mentions begin with young women barely into adolescence hanging out with friends, the tone and atmosphere of those tales diverge. That these are all such different stories should give everyone heart.... No one’s running away story is quite like anyone else’s. Perhaps no one’s circumstances are quite like anyone else’s. Memory and imagination never spin exactly the same way. More importantly, the art one creates from such circumstances, or the circumstances imagination creates, is unique. These fully realized stories speak in diverse ways to a nearly universal desire. Who has never wanted to run away from something? Every one of these stories has been selected because it contributes to a larger narrative. Every one of them speaks to the questions that belong to that larger narrative. Who are we if we refuse to be shaped by our pasts? Who are we if we choose no longer to be ourselves? Who are we, whether we are left behind or gone?

—from the forward by Lee Zacharias

"Roseville to Kansas City, Jamaica Plains to Lubbock, the characters in Runaway find new lives. These exciting stories find transformation via spirit, heart, loss, hope and emptiness. Luanne Smith, Michael Gills, and Lee Zacharias have crafted a collection that is at once devastating and utterly magical. This is a collection to be read and re-read, shared in writing workshops and savored." —Karen Salyer McElmurray, Wanting Radiance

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Product Information
File Size:
5.93 MB
Original electronic
Scanned image
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File Last Updated:
July 02, 2021
This title was added to our catalog on July 05, 2021.
Madville Publishing