On the Fringe

Stories

Author Various
Edited by Donald R. Gallo
Look inside
Lacey is afraid to death that standing up for the school "freak" will destroy her popularity. Gene, mocked one time too many, heads for class with a loaded rifle. High school can be a war zone of popularity and persecution, where no one really looks at the kids on the fringe. In this powerful and timely collection, some of today's most acclaimed authors bring to life eleven stories of outsiders facing the constant struggle of hate and acceptance.

"Kids who are geeks, unathletic, poor, emotionally fragile, loners, or unattractive by current standards form the heart of this collection of exceptional stories by well-known YA authors such as Joan Bauer, Chris Crutcher, and M. E. Kerr. Inspired by the events at Columbine High School, the authors pondered what sorts of heartbreak could cause teens to react so powerfully and violently, and how being isolated and shut out of high school groups could tear down the fragile walls of self-esteem, making vulnerable individuals snap and cause massive destruction. The result is a compilation of short stories from the point of view of those tormented, and those who view others being bullied and how their perceptions change as they examine the situations. While all the stories are excellent, Jack Gantos's "Muzak for Prozac" is an exceptional example of the fragile balance that one teen struggles to maintain through the use of mood-stabilizing chemicals. A must-buy for all libraries."--SLJ
ALEXANDER MACLEOD was born in Inverness, Cape Breton and raised in Windsor, Ontario. His first collection of stories, Light Lifting, was a national bestseller, won an Atlantic Book Award, and was a finalist for the Scotiabank Giller Prize, the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award, the Thomas Head Raddall Fiction Award, and the Commonwealth Book Prize. His most recent book of fiction, Animal Person, won the Dartmouth Book Award for Fiction, was named a Best Book of the Year by The New Yorker, CBC Books, and the Globe and Mail, and includes stories that were featured in The New Yorker, Granta, and The O. Henry Prize Stories. In 2019, he won an O. Henry Award for his story “Lagomorph.” MacLeod holds degrees from the University of Windsor, the University of Notre Dame, and McGill University. He currently lives in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, and teaches at Saint Mary’s University in Halifax.

SOUVANKHAM THAMMAVONGSA's fiction has appeared in The New Yorker, Harper's, Granta, The Atlantic, The Paris Review, Ploughshares, Best American Non-Required Reading, The Journey Prize Stories, and The O. Henry Prize Stories. Her debut book of fiction, How to Pronounce Knife, won the 2020 Scotiabank Giller Prize and the 2021 Trillium Book Award, and was named a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, the PEN America Open Book Award, the Danuta Gleed Award, and one of Time's Must-Read Books of 2020. Thammavongsa is also the author of four poetry books: Light, winner of the Trillium Book Award for Poetry; Found; Small Arguments, winner of the ReLit Award; and, most recently, Cluster. Born in the Lao refugee camp in Nong Khai, Thailand, she was raised and educated in Toronto, where she is at work on her first novel. View titles by Various
On the FringeAcknowledgments
Introduction

Greeks Bearing Gifts
Ron Koertge

Great Expectations
M. E. Kerr

Shortcut
Nancy Werlin

Through a Window
Angela Johnson

Muzak for Prozac
Jack Gantos

Standing on the Roof Naked
Francess Lantz

Mrs. Noonan
Graham Salisbury

WWJD
Will Weaver

Satyagraha
Alden R. Carter

A Letter from the Fringe
Joan Bauer

Guns for Geeks
Chris Crutcher

Resources
About the Editor

About

Lacey is afraid to death that standing up for the school "freak" will destroy her popularity. Gene, mocked one time too many, heads for class with a loaded rifle. High school can be a war zone of popularity and persecution, where no one really looks at the kids on the fringe. In this powerful and timely collection, some of today's most acclaimed authors bring to life eleven stories of outsiders facing the constant struggle of hate and acceptance.

"Kids who are geeks, unathletic, poor, emotionally fragile, loners, or unattractive by current standards form the heart of this collection of exceptional stories by well-known YA authors such as Joan Bauer, Chris Crutcher, and M. E. Kerr. Inspired by the events at Columbine High School, the authors pondered what sorts of heartbreak could cause teens to react so powerfully and violently, and how being isolated and shut out of high school groups could tear down the fragile walls of self-esteem, making vulnerable individuals snap and cause massive destruction. The result is a compilation of short stories from the point of view of those tormented, and those who view others being bullied and how their perceptions change as they examine the situations. While all the stories are excellent, Jack Gantos's "Muzak for Prozac" is an exceptional example of the fragile balance that one teen struggles to maintain through the use of mood-stabilizing chemicals. A must-buy for all libraries."--SLJ

Author

ALEXANDER MACLEOD was born in Inverness, Cape Breton and raised in Windsor, Ontario. His first collection of stories, Light Lifting, was a national bestseller, won an Atlantic Book Award, and was a finalist for the Scotiabank Giller Prize, the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award, the Thomas Head Raddall Fiction Award, and the Commonwealth Book Prize. His most recent book of fiction, Animal Person, won the Dartmouth Book Award for Fiction, was named a Best Book of the Year by The New Yorker, CBC Books, and the Globe and Mail, and includes stories that were featured in The New Yorker, Granta, and The O. Henry Prize Stories. In 2019, he won an O. Henry Award for his story “Lagomorph.” MacLeod holds degrees from the University of Windsor, the University of Notre Dame, and McGill University. He currently lives in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, and teaches at Saint Mary’s University in Halifax.

SOUVANKHAM THAMMAVONGSA's fiction has appeared in The New Yorker, Harper's, Granta, The Atlantic, The Paris Review, Ploughshares, Best American Non-Required Reading, The Journey Prize Stories, and The O. Henry Prize Stories. Her debut book of fiction, How to Pronounce Knife, won the 2020 Scotiabank Giller Prize and the 2021 Trillium Book Award, and was named a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, the PEN America Open Book Award, the Danuta Gleed Award, and one of Time's Must-Read Books of 2020. Thammavongsa is also the author of four poetry books: Light, winner of the Trillium Book Award for Poetry; Found; Small Arguments, winner of the ReLit Award; and, most recently, Cluster. Born in the Lao refugee camp in Nong Khai, Thailand, she was raised and educated in Toronto, where she is at work on her first novel. View titles by Various

Table of Contents

On the FringeAcknowledgments
Introduction

Greeks Bearing Gifts
Ron Koertge

Great Expectations
M. E. Kerr

Shortcut
Nancy Werlin

Through a Window
Angela Johnson

Muzak for Prozac
Jack Gantos

Standing on the Roof Naked
Francess Lantz

Mrs. Noonan
Graham Salisbury

WWJD
Will Weaver

Satyagraha
Alden R. Carter

A Letter from the Fringe
Joan Bauer

Guns for Geeks
Chris Crutcher

Resources
About the Editor

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