LESSER AMERICAN BOYS takes aim at the absurdities and bitter shortcomings of 21st century manhood through a mix of magic-realist and literary storytelling.
A bee colony beats itself to death against a backyard fence; Rick Perry holds in a fart on an elevator while the ghost of a young woman watches; children fall in love with wind and chase that feeling to the bitter end; a man’s friend is run over by a street sweeper, and re-connecting with an ex-lover at the funeral throws his life out of balance; Thoreau is alive and a terrible boyfriend. Though the subject matter of these stories varies wildly, what connects them is an exploration of the moments of loss between characters, whether it’s due to the failure of perception, of language, or of truing the world. The writing is laced with voice-driven humor that gives way to deep moments of empathy as the characters figure out how to keep trying to see themselves and each other.
These stories are so sharp, so incisive, that I felt at times I’d cut myself on them. I love how much VandeZande does with a strict economy of words and an expensive, forgiving understanding of what it means to be human.–Amber Sparks, author of And I Do Not Forgive You
Fiction. Short Stories.
Publisher: Mason Jar Press
Pub Date: 10/2022