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Fiction General

The Meaning of Children


by (author) Beverly Akerman

Exile Editions
Initial publish date
Feb 2011
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Feb 2011
    List Price

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Organized into three sections—appropriately Titled “Beginning,” “Middle,” and “End”—the 14 stories in this collection approach the complexities of being human during those three distinct but interdependent stages of life. The author combines emotional depth and literary appeal to view the world through the eyes of children, the sorrow and ecstasies of child-bearing years, and the culmination of life in old age. Skillfully woven together, the narratives give an array of views through a medley of fascinating characters that include a girl who discovers a fear of heights as her parents’ marriage unravels, a 30-something venture fund manager at odds with his daughter’s paternity, an orphan accused of homophobia whose hands kill whatever they touch, and a mother of two who can only bear to consider abortion in the second person. Through an eclectic array of tales, this provocative anthology acknowledges that the world can be a very dark place while simultaneously longing for redemption through children.

About the author

Beverly Akerman’s recognitions include the David Adams Richards Prize; a Fishtrap Fellowship; first prize, The Vocabula Review Well-Written Writing Contest, Gemini Magazine’s Flash Fiction Contest, and Fog City Writers Short Story Contest; second place, Sheldon Currie Prize; finalist, Freefall Magazine’s Prose Contest, TWUC’s Short Prose Competition (twice), and for the Glass Woman Prize (twice).

Beverly Akerman's profile page

Editorial Reviews

“Oh, it’s lovely. I like it when my body responds to writing right now there’s an ache in my throat.”

EarLit Shorts

“Fluid and masterful [with] wonderful little insights throughout... a keen, incisive vision into the hidden world of children as well as intimate knowledge of the secret spaces that exist between the everyday events of life. There is knowledge here, knowledge of those important, life-defining moments. Overall, a work with a brilliant sense of story.”

JOANNE SOPER-COOK, judge, David Richards Adams Prize

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