The Seven Stories fiction list began with Nelson Algren stories, with titles like "The Face on the Barroom Floor" and "The Lightless Room." These are not exactly beach reads, nor are the books you'll find below. What you will find are novels rooted in this world, presenting the dignity of people struggling to make sense of it and in one way or another to change it.
So, this is another kind of summer fiction list. We hope you'll find much that will challenge, inspire, and engage, in times of darkness and of light.
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Drumroll please! The winner of the Center for Fiction’s 2016 First Novel Prize is . . . . . . .
Our 2016–2017 academic catalog is here. Download the pdf, and send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org for any questions, comments, or desk or examination copy requests! The catalog's introductory letter to educators can be found below.
The Price of the Ticket
by Kia Corthron
Originally published in the July/August 2016 issue of The Dramatist
Three years ago I was standing in the lobby of a theater, the typical Broadway cluster-mob awaiting entrance, with more than half the horde African-American. This would be logical, as the show was the musical revue After Midnight, a refurbishing of a prior concert piece entitled Cotton Club Parade celebrating Ellington-era jazz and dance. Inside, my sister and I were led to our orchestra seats, and I looked around: not another black face in sight. It took me a moment to realize that The Mystery of the Vanishing Black Folks likely would have been quickly resolved had we moved up to the balconies. But from where I sat, observing the complexion of the performers versus that of the onlookers, it was the Cotton Club, the Colors entertaining the Caucasians, and that the upper tiers may have been filled with black faces was not exactly comforting, an economically induced throwback to Jim Crow segregation with African Americans relegated to the peanut gallery.