Gathered here are eleven new short stories written by authors from diverse cultural backgrounds. From rural Oklahoma to an East Coast neighborhood, from urban San Francisco to a Chicago Latino barrio, such varied and original writers as the distinguished Joyce Carol Thomas, Maxine Hong Kingston, Gary Soto, and Lois Lowry bring us a sampling of the rich colors and voices that make up today's America.
Here we meet a young Chicano family that places all its dreams for the future on a golden cockroach. Children on a Chippewa Indian Reservation carve a tribal trickster from a block of ice in the middle of July. And in Joyce Carol Thomas's spellbinding "Young Reverend Zelma Lee Moses", a young black woman with a gift for preaching decides to fly come Sunday at Perfect Peace Baptist Church.
These are stories of compassion and intolerance, of love and hope. Above all, A GATHERING OF FLOWERS offers a special promise of what it is to be young in America.
Excerpts from the book:
...She made a silent promise, looking into Danielís deep dark gaze, finding her passion in the curve of his molasses colored lips.
Before the weeklong revival was over, Daniel would be proud of her.
And then it came to her, not from God but from the soft place in the center of her soul-filled passion.
She would do what nobody else had done.
Come Sunday, the crowning day of the revival, young Reverend Zelma Lee Moses would fly.
"On Easter Sunday," she announced, talking to the church but looking Daniel in the eyes, "on the last day of the revival, on the day Christ came forth from the tomb, Church, itís been given me to fly."
Their opened mouths opened even wider.
The New Orleans New Baptist Youth Choir, scheduled to be in concert in Louisiana on Easter Sunday, took a vote and sent back word that their Oklahoma stay would be extended.
"Young Reverend Zelma Lee Mosesís gonna fly come Sunday evening," the ecstatic choir director chanted...
Text © 1990 Joyce Carol Thomas. Cover © 1990 HarperCollins Publishers.