New story collection, coming February 2014

“Meat” will be appearing in a new short story collection from Ashland Press, Among Animals: The Lives of Animals and Humans in Contemporary Short Fiction.  I thought the title was going to be Animals Among Us, so the change got me thinking.  Animals Among Us could imply that (non-human) animals are interlopers, creatures who don’t rightly belong — they are among “us,” but not part of “us.”  Among Animals carries just the reverse implication: we are the outsiders here, struggling to relate and live on a planet where, as one of my old tee shirts reads, “They were here first.”  Of course humans are animals, too, and a collection with this title could just as well feature human-centric stories.

I’m very excited to read the work from the other contributors, and to hear feedback on “Meat.”  Since the story was published in The Again, it’s brought out some good discussion with friends and family about the practicality and challenges of veganism.  I’m hoping, with the publication of the book from Ashland, this discussion can continue in more public forums — readings and author events — as well as informally.  In particular, how can (or should) a concern with animal rights jive with other progressive agendas, like protecting the natural world, organic, small farms, or indigenous rights?

Comments welcome if you’ve got ’em.

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