Still Life With Plums by Marie Manilla

Book Cover

The rich heritage of West Virginia is rarely tied to that of the state of Texas.  In author Marie Manilla’s new collection of short stories, Still Life With Plums, Manilla intricately weaves together the lives of a seemingly diverse cast of characters of West Virginian, Texan and Latin descent.  A West Virginia native, Manilla spent seven years in Texas where she realized much like West Virginians, Latino Texans suffer the same ridicule for low economic status, poor job opportunities and accents while still maintaining individualism and fierce self-reliance.  She captures these similarities in Still Life With Plums saying, “One overarching theme in the collection is that whatever culture we’re from, we are more alike than we are different.”  She draws from personal experiences to create the characters in each short story which she says all reflect different parts of her personality.

 “In one way or another all of the characters are me. Like most people I can be a smart-aleck or kind, naïve or cruel. I strive to create fully realized characters who are both sinners and saints,” Manilla says in describing the nature of stories’ characters. 

Manilla’s ten short stories’ characters include a Black-Irish West Virginian, a Guatemalan immigrant and a Japanese-American.   They deal with issues ranging from parenthood, crumbling relationships, fleeing from commitments and desperately trying to escape their homes. 

By employing short stories as a way to tell these characters’ tales Manilla is able to capture an exact moment in their lives that will change them forever; whether it be for better or worse.  Manilla says she loves writing short stories becausee of “the the driving pulse of a good short story… that satisfying burst of adrenaline and truth that the well-written story can produce.” 

However, Manilla’s collection of “short bursts of adrenaline” are far from sporatic and random.  By connecting this unique cast of characters in an unexpected way, Manilla also connects West Virginia and Texas to the universal, timeless  themes of desire to overcome struggle and rising above discirimiation.

To experience Manilla’s collection for yourself, purchase  Still Life With Plums at www.wvupress.com.

Stil Life With Plums
By Marie Manilla
October 2010

The rich heritage of West Virginia is rarely tied to that of the state of Texas.  In author Marie Manilla’s new collection of short stories, Still Life With Plums, Manilla intricately weaves together the lives of a seemingly diverse cast of characters of West Virginian, Texan and Latin descent.  A West Virginia native, Manilla spent seven years in Texas where she realized much like West Virginians, Latino Texans suffer the same ridicule for low economic status, poor job opportunities and accents while still maintaining individualism and fierce self-reliance.  She captures these similarities in Still Life With Plums saying, “One overarching theme in the collection is that whatever culture we’re from, we are more alike than we are different.”  She draws from personal experiences to create the characters in each short story which she says all reflect different parts of her personality.

 “In one way or another all of the characters are me. Like most people I can be a smart-aleck or kind, naïve or cruel. I strive to create fully realized characters who are both sinners and saints,” Manilla says in describing the nature of stories’ characters. 

Manilla’s ten short stories’ characters include a Black-Irish West Virginian, a Guatemalan immigrant and a Japanese-American.   They deal with issues ranging from parenthood, crumbling relationships, fleeing from commitments and desperately trying to escape their homes. 

By employing short stories as a way to tell these characters’ tales Manilla is able to capture an exact moment in their lives that will change them forever; whether it be for better or worse.  Manilla says she loves writing short stories becausee of “the the driving pulse of a good short story… that satisfying burst of adrenaline and truth that the well-written story can produce.” 

However, Manilla’s collection of “short bursts of adrenaline” are far from sporatic and random.  By connecting this unique cast of characters in an unexpected way, Manilla also connects West Virginia and Texas to the universal, timeless  themes of desire to overcome struggle and rising above discirimiation.

 

To experience Manilla’s collection for yourself, purchase  Still Life With Plums at www.wvupress.com.

 

Stil Life With Plums
By Marie Manilla
October 2010

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About Lindsay Bailey

Hi, I'm a senior public relations major/English minor at West Virginia University. I'm interested in writing, camping and having fun. View all posts by Lindsay Bailey

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