In Short People, we encounter, among many others, Jason and Billy, best friends who discover by the age of six how to conquer the world, only to see this idyll then shatter before them; Shawn, whose baptism compels him to make life a holy hell for everyone around him; and Evan, who finds that his pursuit of a Boy Scout merit badge is luring him into uncharted social territory. In the meantime, an agonized couple exhausts their expectations for their own kids, with an aftermath that afflicts them all. There's also Mary, whose sixteenth birthday precipitates an adulthood she is scarcely prepared to enter, and Emmy, who began that same transition when she was only twelve. Finally, and perhaps most harrowingly, is the nurse who with eerie prescience delivers so many babies to their destiny.
In a remarkable display of imagination and compassion, Joshua Furst reconstrues our preconceptions about innocence, purity, faith and memory through an unflinching, pitch-perfect gaze, with both authority and originality. Each new story enhances a collection whose importance is thoroughly contemporary and at once hilarious and heartbreaking.