Short Stories All the Time

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... a few of my thoughts about 900, mostly contemporary, short stories.
Showing posts with label Milward. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Milward. Show all posts

25 November, 2015

Andrew Malan Milward, "Good Men a Long Time Gone"

pile of bison skulls
Another great story set in Kansas, Dodge City to be exact. The story takes place in a bar after a long days work at the slaughterhouse. Several characters meet almost daily at Doc's. There point of view is shifting but never confusing, smooth like William Trevor does. Naturally, there are some confrontations between workers, especially a guy who has carpal tunnel syndrome and has had to go on leave for a bit. It's the end of the line for him and he's desperate. It was interesting to learn about the hierarchy of the jobs in the slaughterhouse. It also highlights, without belaboring it, the difficulty of this kind of work and the maddening pace the workers have to keep. The author blends all of these details quite nicely. Even Sal's, Adolfo, from El Salvador, situation of escaping the civil war is included seamlessly as well as the forced movement of Native Americans. Well done.

"Good Men a Long Time Gone" was first published in American Short Fiction, spring 2015 and then included in Milward's collection, I Was a Revolutionary.

American Short Fiction

23 November, 2015

Andrew Malan Milward, "The Burning of Lawrence"

The story is about Quantrill's raid on Lawrence, Kansas in 1863. It's told in sixteen sections, first person point of view. A contemporary female who has enrolled in the university in Lawrence first encounters a photograph of some of Quantrill's men who had gotten together for a reunion in 1912. It's fiction mixed with historical fiction. We see the young woman learning about Lawrence while she is also in the midst of relationships at college. She is telling the story sometime later, after 2003.

"The Burning of Lawrence" was first published in Zoetrope: All-Story in 2007 and is now the first story in Milward's collection, I Was a Revolutionary.

Andrew Malan Milward, "I Was a Revolutionary"

The story, told in first person POV, moves between the front story of a university instructor teaching his History of Kansas course, the dissolution of his marriage with Linda, and his past as a political activist in the 1960s. The front, current story takes place in 2008 as Barack Obama is about to be inaugurated as president of the United States. The author imparts quite a bit of information about Kansas history. The story is about 25 pages long and mostly told in a telling fashion. The theme of the story, for me, is change, things, people's relationships, politics, power structures, change but yet repeat.
Dockum's Drugstore, Wichita, Kansas

Kansas Territory
Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854
New England Immigrant Aid Society
Amos Adams Lawrence
Border War
Bleeding Kansas
John Brown
Jim Lane
Quantrill's Raiders
George Todd
Clarina Nichols
Pap Singleton, Hodgeman County
Nicodemus, Kansas
People's Party
Susanna Salter, mayor of Argonia
Carrie Nation
S.P. Dinsmoor's Garden of Eden
newspaper, Appeal to Reason, Girard, KS
WPA Guide to 1930s Kansas
Brown vs. Board of Education
Dockum's Drugstore
1970 riots in Lawrence
George Tiller
Fred Phelps
What's the Matter with Kansas?