EastOver Press is proud to announce the publication of The EastOver Anthology of Rural Stories, 2023: Writers of Color, a collection of short fiction from deep in the heart of America’s rural spaces.
In this inaugural volume’s introduction, series editor Keith Pilapil Lesmeister points out that “people living in communities like mine aren’t simply thinking about the urban-rural divide, we’re living it.”
He adds, “Pundits, political pollsters, politicians themselves all want to know…what’s going on out here in the sticks? What’s important to rural folks? What do we have foremost on our minds?”
The writers in this collection—all people of color—offer diverse answers. Their unique takes will, in many cases, startle readers who cling to stereotypical views of folks who live in rural America.
“These stories subvert, surprise, and complicate our ideas and expectations,” Lesmeister says. “They make no attempt at easy answers. Instead, they focus squarely on the characters who inhabit the stories, allowing readers an opportunity to imagine for a moment a life perhaps far different from the one they live.”
The anthology features work by Jinwoo Chong, Risë Kevalshar Collins, Jamie Figueroa, Libby Flores, Jane Hammons, Mark L. Keats, Laura Lee Lucas, Jennifer Morales, Tisha Marie Reichle-Aguilera, Jeanette Weaskus, and Erika T. Wurth.
Lesmeister notes that their writing demonstrates “a flourishing humanity, humor and hope, and a not-going-to-give-up attitude from an array of compelling characters living and existing—not always thriving, but always trying—in the rich tapestry of rural spaces.”
Lesmeister is the author of the story collection We Could’ve Been Happy Here and the chapbook Mississippi River Museum. He’s an editor at Cutleaf and lives in Iowa’s Driftless region.
The EastOver Anthology of Rural Stories, 2023: Writers of Color ▪ Released March 7, 2023
Available now on: Bookshop.org ▪ Barnes & Noble ▪ Amazon