A richly detailed, brilliantly woven debut collection about the lives and lore of one Black family.
by Shannon Sanders
Graywolf Press, October 2023
(via DeFiore and Co.)
Shannon Sanders’s sparkling debut brings us into the company of the Collins family and their acquaintances as they meet, bicker, compete, celebrate, worry, keep and reveal secrets, build lives and careers, and endure. Moving from Atlantic City to New York to DC, from the 1960s to the 2000s, from law students to drag performers to violinists to matriarchs, COMPANY tells a multifaceted, multigenerational saga in thirteen stories.
Each piece in COMPANY includes a moment when a guest arrives at someone’s home. In « The Good, Good Men, » two brothers reunite to oust a « deadbeat » boyfriend from their mother’s house. In « The Everest Society, » the brothers’ sister anxiously prepares for a home visit from a social worker before adopting a child. In « Birds of Paradise, » their aunt, newly promoted to university provost, navigates a minefield of microaggressions at her own welcome party. And in the haunting title story, the provost’s sister finds her solitary life disrupted when her late sister’s daughter comes calling.
These are stories about intimacy, societal and familial obligations, and the ways inheritances shape our fates. Buoyant, somber, sharp, and affectionate, this collection announces a remarkable new voice in fiction.
Shannon Sanders lives and works near Washington, DC. Her fiction has appeared in One Story, Electric Literature, Joyland, TriQuarterly, and elsewhere, and was a 2020 winner of the PEN/Robert J. Dau Short Story Prize for Emerging Writers