“People think contentment is a gentle, warm thing, like bathwater, that needs only occasional replenishing to keep it from turning slowly tepid. In my experience, contentment often requires more ruthless and more immediate defending.”From “Bump,” in Manywhere: stories by Morgan Thomas
The bright green lightning bolt and colorful birds on the face of Manywhere jumped out at me from the New Books shelf in the Literatures and Languages Reading Room, though they didn’t provide much of an indication of the book’s contents.
Manywhere: stories is a collection of nine pieces of short fiction following queer and genderqueer characters in the American South throughout various stages of history. Author Morgan Thomas displays an impressive range of styles and voices, offering explorations of characters in first- and third-person narrative and through newspaper extracts, letters, and emails. As each character navigates their own past and present, they touch on relationships with parents, partners, and places they’ve left behind. They address illness, pregnancy, and versions of care. They seek places for themselves in history and sacrifice partnerships to secure them. And they consider the bodies they were born into, and what that means for who they are becoming.
Through compelling and emotionally intelligent prose, the stories in Manywhere ask the reader consider the relationships they sustain with their own bodies, with their parents, and with their pasts.
You can find Manywhere: stories on the New Books Shelf at the Literatures and Languages Library. The catalog record is linked here.