rest area by Clay McLeod Chapman
“Short stories in the form of monologs are nothing new, but Chapman’s first collection of 20 makes the form seem so. In the title story, a father waits for his daughter at the rest stop where she disappeared months before. In “Pool Witch,” three boys dare to scale the highest water slide. Their objectives: to toss the lifeguard in before their own glorious descent. In “Spoonfed,” a story with unsettling overtones, a 16-year-old boy relates how he cares for his younger handicapped sister, and in the powerful and tragic “And the Mothers Stepped Over Their Sons,” a woman narrates the loss of her asthmatic soldier son as she searches for his body in a field of dead young men. Chapman has been writing since the age of 12 and performing his monologs in the United States and abroad for many years. Amazingly, he manages to squeeze character, plot, setting, and background into each. There is nothing corny or cute, labored or false; instead, there is bold, honest realism.”
- Library Journal
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