The Family Cannon
Fiction, 116 Pages
The debut collection by author Halina Duraj brings readers an American family, strikingly individual but recognizable to us all—as strange and familiar as home. An escalating neighborhood feud takes an unanticipated turn. A college student visiting Poland learns about drinking, dancing, and some of the more perplexing mysteries of adulthood. A mother opens up about her youth and courtship. A daughter tries to understand her own relationship within the context of what she has been taught about marriage. These tender and generous linked stories illuminate the hidden corners of our family lives and, in doing so, cast beautiful light on the shadows.
’s work has appeared in The Sun
, The Harvard Review
, and the 2014 Pen/O. Henry Prize Stories
. She has an MA in creative writing from the University of California, Davis, and a PhD in literature and creative writing from the University of Utah. She teaches at the University of San Diego, where she also directs the Lindsay J. Cropper Center for Creative Writing.
Visit Halina Duraj’s webpage for updates on events, links to stories and essays and more!
With quiet astonishment, Halina Duraj explores the mysteries of love and madness, offering her readers the secret salvation of story. Between a father’s reinvention of himself, a mother’s perplexing fidelity, and a woman’s navigation of the complexities of betrayal, we discover the exquisite pleasures of a world restored and redeemed through Duraj’s luminous gaze, the loving attention and tender playfulness of an extravagantly passionate imagination.
—Melanie Rae Thon, author of The Voice of the River and In This Light
I love these stories. They are vivid, surprising, beautifully written, and give a wonderfully fresh take on the immigrant experience in America. I shall not forget this family or their story.
—Lynn Freed, author of The Servants’ Quarters and The Mirror
These beautifully crafted and compelling linked stories tell the story of an American family, one whose particularities are both utterly recognizable and brilliant for the surprises they contain. Halina Duraj’s prose is simultaneously sparkling clean and full of heart, not a wasted word, yet every emotional cul-de-sac rendered in its full complication. An utterly satisfying debut.
—Pam Houston, author of Contents May Have Shifted