Fifty-Four Linked Fictions
Press 53, 9781950413058, 186pp.
Publication Date: April 18, 2019
In Bleachers, the debut short fiction collection by award-winning poet Joseph Mills, fifty-four stories take place during two youth soccer games, capturing the thoughts, concerns, realizations, and perspectives of the parents on the sidelines and in the stands. As these spectators watch (or don't watch) the players on the field, their narratives interweave to form a portrait of community and of parenting--always unpredictable, often complicated, and rarely what it seems. From A to Z ("Aging" to "Zidane"), Bleachers can be read as a primer on parenting and family, as well as a paean to sports. If, as Dr. King said, Sunday morning is the most segregated hour in America, then Saturday morning may be the most integrated as families gather to experience the victories and losses, both great and small, of the game that brings them together, "forming, then breaking apart, then reforming . . . . temporarily cohering" as a team.