MONARCH: Stories by Emily Jon Tobias
Black Lawrence Press, May 2024
MONARCH: Stories subverts the reader’s common perceptions about how love can heal, how loss and suffering can transform, and how every character deserves a second chance. America’s city scars, sewers, alleyways, and bars are landscape to their wars, as characters heal and transform under wind turbines and on open roads, in golden cornfields and with the wails of Chicago blues. Heroes in this collection are the marginalized, the sufferers, the down-trodden, the misfits, the wanderers, and the wounded, shaped by grief but not defined by their scars.
The collection is driven by its characters, unsung heroes who are shades of the sufferers and healers in all. An inclusive invitation, MONARCH is aimed at an intimate portrayal of scarred characters on American streets beating the drum of current culture against the fierce rhythm of critical social justice issues. An exploration of the human condition through a lens of the damaged, MONARCH’s characters bear traumas with their bodies, and often, they transgress while learning how to love through small acts of kindness. They break in, break down, and ultimately, break open.
Foreword by Chris Abani, author of The Secret History of Las Vegas.