Marilyn Sewell offers insightful, compassionate slices of life that will bring laughter and, at the same time, take you deeper into the mysteries of life.

Product Code: 5791
ISBN: 9781558968431
Format: Paperback / softback
Publisher: Skinner House
Pages: 192
Published Date: 10/02/2019
Availability:In stock
Price: $18.00

In In Time’s Shadow, minister, author, and activist Marilyn Sewell reflects on the everyday—the places we live and work, the thoughts we all have but hardly ever share—though these musings may carry the most profound of our human concerns. Using a variety of short literary forms, ranging from dramatic monologues, vignettes, and letters, to prose poems, fantasy, and more, Sewell’s fiction offers insightful, compassionate slices of life that will bring laughter and, at the same time, take you deeper into the mysteries of life: a lonely woman is distressed because her plant has stopped blooming; marriage partners talk past each other in a therapy session; a man comes across a ragtag street band in New Orleans and reconsiders his life choices. These short, compelling readings reveal the cultural incongruities and inanities that crowd our lives. We love, we lose, we die, and through it all, we ask, “What’s it all about?” Sewell invites us to ponder with her and perhaps come to trust our common humanity and our most noble instincts.

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Reaching Out for Love
Mourning Becomes Electra
My Movie
A Shared Silence
The Nature of the Beast
Why I Like Going to the Dentist
Cover Your Heart, Reach Out Again
The Past Is Not Even Past

Resistance to Change
Becoming Clear
Serial Killer
To Be Held, and to Hold
Breaking Up Is Hard to Do
Holding On
Fly Away

Denial of Death
Death in Springtime
Letter to Delta Airlines Customer Service
Memorial Fidelity
Dreaming Lola
Right on Time
For Some Time I Thought There Was Time
Not Afraid

Loss Brings Anger, Grief, Regret
The Way of All Flesh
The Fly God
The Day My Books Fell
Urban Lesson
What We Say When There’s Nothing Left to Say
Visit to Father at the State Hospital

Those Who Hold Us, Then and Now
The Doll
Unimportant Things I Remember
How Love Stays
The Nightgown
How I Got Saved
The Wind Under My Wings
The Unguarded Face of Love

Death Catches Up with Us
Ways I Don’t Want to Die
The Visitor
A History of Her (Very Short) Sex Life
Not the Kind of Man
Mercy and Truth Have Met Together

The Meaning of Life
What We Have Left
Things They Will Not Say about Me in My Obituary but I Wish They Would
Love Letters from God
The Exorcist
Why I Don’t Tidy
What Is the Question?

How We Remember Them

“My subject matter is the everyday, the places we live and work, the thoughts we all have, but hardly ever share, though these musings may carry the most profound of our human concerns. A mother tries to help her heartbroken son; a woman wants to tidy, but doesn’t know which books to discard; a climate volunteer in the church basement is put off because someone else took the sandwich she ordered; a lonely woman is distressed when her potted plant stops blooming—all the little insignificant but critical moments that reveal values, character, and just naked human need.

Where do we find comfort in such a world? Where do we find meaning? Redemption comes when we are courageous enough to trust our sorrow, our outrage. Life itself renders its missteps and absurdities, despite our best efforts; therefore we are led to forgive, both ourselves and others. We eschew judgment for mercy. We find the life force pushing up through the cracks of our existence, letting us know that beyond all our fears, mistakes, regrets, there is a sure ground underlying all that is. Its most trustworthy manifestation is love in all its myriad forms.”

—from the preface

“With this collection of short stories, Marilyn Sewell does not offer wisdom from the pulpit but rather lets us overhear stories in the parking lot as parishioners share glimpses from their secret lives. Through the spaces between people in these beguiling fictions, love wanders like a ghost, offering whispered hints of solace against a backdrop of isolating divisions. In the spirit of the enigmatic stories of Lydia Davis, Isak Dinesen, Yasunari Kawabata, and other masters of the ironic parable, Sewell offers companionship for readers longing to navigate a world of faltering connections. We watch characters struggle to find what we all seek: new ways to deepen faith in the human project.”

—Kim Stafford, author of 100 Tricks Every Boy Can Do: How My Brother Disappeared

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