From the Midway

Unfolding Stories of Redemption and Belonging

by Leaf Seligman

978-0-87233-296-6

224 pages

$22.50

Literary Fiction

 

 

This richly researched collection of linked short stories transports readers to the midway of a carnival traveling through the Jim Crow South where we meet the carnival owners, a carousel operator, the geek, dancing girls, several performers displayed as oddities and the African American laborers charged with tending them. The final story crosses the ocean, underscoring the the power and mystery of unexpected connections. Lyrical descriptions of the physical environs and the emotional landscape of each character function like a funhouse mirror, providing just enough distance and distortion to see ourselves more clearly. The sharply striated world of a century ago aptly reflects the tensions, divisions, and perennial shared yearning for redemption and belonging that mark us as human.

Leaf Seligman began writing during her Tennessee childhood where she encountered the midway, tent revivals, and the Civil Rights movement. She has taught writing in colleges, jails, prisons, and community settings since 1985 and worked as a minister, a jail chaplain, a youth services caseworker, and a restorative justice practitioner. She is the author of Opening the Window: Sabbath Meditations and A Pocket Book of Prompts. Her current projects include a novel, a memoir, and a series of death row monologues, all attuned to redemption and belonging.

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