All of which I'd recommend:
Torch by Cheryl Strayed. Beautiful story of a family's grief. Classy, elegant writing; full range of emotions and characters.
Halfway House by Katherine Noel. Sharp, poignant rendering of a young girl's mental illness and its affect on her family. The writing is fresh and evenhanded.
and lastly The Professor's Daughter by Emily Raboteau, an accomplished, artful novel-in-stories. One of the characters is a brilliant young boy sent to private school on a scholarship and brutally harrassed by his white classmates; one of the characters is another brilliant boy who sees color in sounds and who suffers a senseless accident; and one of the characters is a young woman caught in between:
"My father is black and my mother is white and my brother is a vegetable."
Side note: all three talented authors were fellows at Bread Loaf this year.
- Originally from Vermont, I now live in North Carolina. My work can be found in recent issues of REAL: Regarding Arts and Letters, The Jabberwock Review, The Emerson Review, Storyglossia, The MacGuffin, Confrontation, Passages North, SmokeLong Quarterly, elimae, wigleaf, and Pank, among others, and forthcoming from Gargoyle #57 and REAL: Regarding Arts and Letters. One of my stories has been translated into Farsi by Asadollah Amraee, and many others by Jalil Jafari, two of which have been published in the Iranian journal, Golestaneh Magazine. For two years I worked as an assistant editor for Narrative Magazine. Currently, I serve as a mentor for Dzanc's Creative Writing Sessions. I'm working on two novels and a short story collection. In May, I was awarded the Carol Houck Smith Contributor Scholarship for the 2011 Bread Loaf Writers' Conference.