"Like their namesake, the stories populating Trip Wires are mercilessly taut. Told largely from the perspectives of youths torn from their roots by war, these are stories that carry like radio signals across terrains of unrest and displacement. Ms. Hunter's juxtaposition of settings—Afghanistan, then Los Angeles; Syria, then again to the city of angels—heightens the immigrant's sense of diasporic otherness in places both near and far from home. This is what life looks like when conflict repaints the canvas against which her characters seek love, family and a moment's stability. Her keen eye for twinned details—the fleeting safety of an imam's lap is set against a prayer rug in the back room of a California suburban home, far from neighbors' eyes—lends this collection a rare power and poignancy. Not to be missed." —David Rocklin, The Luminist
“In Trip Wires, Sandra Hunter deftly traverses the globe to fraught landscapes of war, protest, imprisonment, kidnapping, and escape. She uncoils the violence of conflict, of barbed wires and radio wires, iron jails and mental jails that cause a people to humiliate and murder their own, or those not like them. But within this poignant collection, there’s a thread that compels her characters to reach for survival, and it’s this gossamer wire, these small miracles of love, that electrify her stories.” —Shilpa Agarwal, author of Haunting Bombay
"In spare and unflinching prose, the stories in Trip Wires depict children and young adults struggling to deal with the brutal consequences of war and social upheaval. These are not always easy stories to read, but they are extremely important, profoundly meaningful, and utterly unforgettable. I am deeply grateful to Sandra Hunter for the courageous and sympathetic way she tells these young people's tales." —Jean Hegland, author of Into the Forest
"Trip Wires, Sandra Hunter’s stunning new collection, offers powerful stories with a myriad of memorable characters, each of whom receives their due respect and sympathy in the telling of his or her story. Hunter is not afraid to place her characters in the direst of circumstances, while showing compassion and understanding for their plights. A unique collection by a very talented writer." —Peg Alford Pursell, author of Show Her A Flower, A Bird, A Shadow
"Sandra Hunter’s Trip Wires shows us what we’re most afraid of and what we most dearly love. Its stories are linked by compassion, which Hunter as author practices as well as her characters. The collection moves us across the globe, from Syria to Colombia to Los Angeles to spaces beyond and in between, into war and prison, into protest, and into the homes of families left at home waiting. These characters find revelations—wounding truths—in daily life: in radios, in baked peppers, in streetlights. Here Hunter explores the internal worlds of children, teenagers, mothers, and fathers; she is activistic in her tenderness and her attention to each perspective. Equipped with kindness and acuity, this writer reminds us of the weight of the world as well as our ability to carry it." —Cassidy McCants, Associate Editor of Nimrod International
"With startling breadth of vision, Trip Wires reveals the raw and tender material of our common humanity across borders--from a Sudanese refugee in Glasgow, to the survivor of a Colombian paramilitary kidnapping, to young soldiers in the Middle East whose emotional armor is breached by defiantly joyful children. The standout tale "Brother's Keeper" channels Flannery O'Connor to expose the underside of white Christian benevolence toward Africans. Hunter restores these displaced persons to the center of their own life story. For immigrants and wanderers everywhere, gratitude takes a backseat to homesickness, and rescue is not the same as safety. This is a searing and politically timely collection." —Jendi Reiter, editor of WinningWriters.com and author of the Rainbow Award-winning novel Two Natures
TRIP WIRES travels around the world, with stories, many of children, set against turbulent socio-political backdrops from Afghanistan to Syria to Columbia to America, and examines how the dilemma of isolation is a common human condition. The terrain is different in each story, but all of these young people face the dilemma of being without resources even as they try to find and maintain relationships. Accepting of tragedy and insurmountable challenges, they nonetheless show humanity and grace, and remind us of the best in ourselves.
Against the Stranger Brother’s Keeper Modern Jazz Parade Fifteen Minutes Angel in Glasgow Radio Radio Borderland A Nigerian in Paris Where the Birds Are Kitchen Nerves