Friday, January 20, 2012

The Lost Children: A Charity Anthology

The Lost Children: A Charity Anthology (ed. by Ron Earl Phillips, Thomas Pluck, and Fiona Johnson) contains 30 stories about children who have been neglected, abused, or otherwise marginalized. The collection itself lives up to its cover--these are powerful, often shocking, stories.

Here are a few that stuck out to me...

"Probably, Right?" by Lynn Beighley is a very fine piece of very short fiction. It's about a witness who reasons away responsibility and avoids an uncomfortable truth. Beighley possesses a strong, confident voice and, in a tight space, creates a memorable narrator.

"One Night" by Roberto C. Garcia is a particularly crushing piece about a neglected child. This is a straight family drama rendered in excruciating detail.

"Keisha" by Susan Gibb is the kind of story that--as someone going into teaching--makes me tremble. Even hard-working, well-meaning teachers can only do so much. This piece exudes a quiet, real sense of desperation.

"On and On" by JF Juzwik. Like AJ Hayes once said, JF Juzwik is like a submarine--even when you don't see her, you can't forget about her. (Apologies to AJ if I messed up his quote!) This is a smart, acidic, wrenching tale about a little girl in a seemingly hopeless situation.

Benoit Lelievre has an excellent entry as well with "Under the Gaze of Saturn," a story that weaves in tough economic times with the lost children theme in a non-linear narrative.

As usual, I can't get around to all the stories I dug in here, but the bottom line is that the money goes to a good cause and you get a great read. Check it out at Amazon and Amazon UK.

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