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American Dreaming and Other Stories

American Dreaming and Other Stories is a collection of short stories about people in transition: immigrants adjusting to life in North Carolina, a medical student trying to fit into the world of the hospital, an estranged couple rearranging their physical and emotional landscape after a storm. These seven stories mine the ways in which where we come from affects us no matter where we are, and provide a glimpse into the newer faces populating the contemporary Southeast.

In the title story, a Thai woman working as a housekeeper in North Carolina struggles to retain connection and shared goals with her Americanized, biracial teenage daughter. In “Facts,” a young woman travels to meet the father who abandoned her before birth just as she’s on the cusp of marriage and a new career. A Romanian immigrant working toward the American dream imports a bride in “Practical,” only to find their long-term dreams may be incompatible. In “Attempt, Unsuccessful,” a young man from rural North Carolina flounders to both find and keep his place at an elite university. Each story explores the myths and realities behind that American ideal of self-made success, attending to the emotional and psychological forces that underpin it.