The New Yorker's special Debut Fiction collection features three very different stories by writers who have yet to publish a book:
"An Ex-Mas Feast" by Uwem Akpan: The day-to-day struggles and conflicts of a street family in Nairobi, dependent on the money their 12-year-old daughter brings in as a prostitute.
"Haunting Olivia" by Karen Russell: A tale of two brothers searching the water for their dead sister.
"The Laser Age" by Justin Tussing: A teenager's evolving relationships with a mysterious drifter - and his female teacher.Our thanks to Dr. Robert Leonard, a professor of linguistics at Hofstra University in Hempstead, N.Y., who provided invaluable assistance with the Swahili pronunciations in "An Ex-Mas Feast".
First and foremost, The New Yorker is about great writing, from "The Talk of the Town" to "Shouts & Murmurs" to the magazine's stable of critics. And then there are the jewels of short fiction. The New Yorker has a legendary ear for fiction, and an uncanny ability to uncover provocative new voices.
This collection features three writers-on-the-verge, each drawing from a different vocabulary and set of life experiences. Yet what will become clear as you listen is that these three diverse stories have a connection: each revolves around children. A 12-year-old prostitute in Kenya; a pair of brothers whose grief is palpable; a teenaged boy in a risky relationship.
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