Lush and uncompromising stories about characters crossing geographical borders and gender binaries.
by Morgan Thomas
mcd/Farrar, Straus & Giroux, January 2022
(via Defiore & Company)
The nine stories in Morgan Thomas’s shimmering debut collection MANYWHERE witness Southern queer and genderqueer characters determined to find themselves reflected in the annals of history, at whatever cost. As each character traces deceit and violence through tall tales and their own pasts, their journeys reveal the porous boundaries of body, land, and history, and the sometimes ruthless awakenings of self-discovery.
A trans woman finds her independence through the purchase of a pregnancy bump. A young Virginian flees their relationship, choosing instead to immerse themselves in the life of an intersex person from colonial-era Jamestown. A young writer tries to evade the murky and violent legacy of an ancestor, who supposedly disappeared into a midwifery bag. And in the uncanny title story, a young trans person brings home a replacement daughter for their elderly father.
Winding between reinvention and remembrance, transition and transcendence, these origin stories rebound across centuries. With warm, meticulous emotional intelligence, Morgan Thomas’s MANYWHERE uncovers how the stories we borrow to understand ourselves in turn shape the people we become. Ushering in a new form of queer mythmaking, MANYWHERE introduces a storyteller of uncommon range and talent.
Morgan Thomas’s work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Atlantic, The Kenyon Review, American Short Fiction, VICE, Joyland, Electric Literature, Ploughshares, them., and StoryQuarterly, where their story won the 2019 Fiction Prize. They are the recipient of a Bread Loaf Work-Study Grant, a Fullbright Grant, the Penny Wilkes Scholarship in Writing and the Environment, and the winner of the inaugural Southern Studies Fellowship in Arts and Letters. They have also received fellowships from the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, the Millay Colony for the Arts, and the Arctic Circle. A graduate of the University of Oregon MFA program, they live in Portland.