By: Cathy Hankla
A mentally challenged teen in a coma, a WWII veteran weighing his beliefs, an intersexed man anticipating a relationship, a single woman who has kissed far too many frogs, and a first grader suffering at the hands of a family friend. These are just a few of the unforgettable characters in Fortune Teller Miracle Fish, an innovative collection of stories from award-winning novelist and poet Cathryn Hankla. The figures in these stories struggle toward more truthful expressions of themselves, as outsiders whose dilemmas, emotions, and desires make them unmistakably human. As varied as they are vivid, they strive for closer connections of love and community. Through humor and understanding, Hankla intrepidly navigates the transitions that define them—unplanned pregnancy, divorce, death, and gender change, to name a few. Acutely attuned to her subjects’ inner landscapes, Hankla captures the full spectrum of human experience, from childhood to old age, with heart, rare skill, and nerve.