The newest work by author Morgan Christie, People Without Wings, is a powerful collection of fictional stories that explore themes of grief, hope, identity, and inner perseverance. Released recently by Digging Press, this collection delivers emotional depth through Christie’s poetic prose and multidimensional characters.
While each story in People Without Wings stands alone, they are tied together by a sense that even in one’s darkest moments, the human spirit can rise again. The story that perhaps best encapsulates this is “How to Eat Marzipan,” which focuses on a young woman named Jamika struggling to cope after her grandparents die in a car crash. She has inherited their house, where she spends long days alone trying to recreate the sweet, almond-flavored marzipan that her grandfather, a baker, used to make.
One day while preparing the confection, Jamika hears a thud coming from the locked room where she has been keeping “Hope” hostage. Throughout the story, Hope is personified as a physical being, a metaphor for Jamika’s own sense of hope beaten down by grief. Though Hope tries to break free, Jamika quickly resecures the lock.
Earlier after her grandparents’ accident, Jamika had found Hope battered and clinging to life. Believing that this broken version of Hope was all that remained, Jamika held her captive in an attempt to revive Hope with “good things” or delectable treats. But Hope refuses, only eating dirt instead.
Christie uses this unique perspective to show the pain and loneliness of grief. She also showcases the struggle to either give up on perseverance or keep fighting to hold onto it. Jamika’s ongoing efforts to revive her battered vision of “Hope” through sweet nourishment hints that some inner light still flickers within her.
The other two stories, “Warbirds” and “Rainbow Parachutes,” feature characters facing different battles with similar resilience. Though stylistically distinct, the tales ultimately convey that through perseverance and connection, there is light to be found even in life’s darkest moments.
For readers who love emotionally stirring tales that speak to the depths of human struggle and strength, People Without Wings delivers a quick yet impactful reading experience. With a length of about 70 pages, this collection can be finished in one sitting but the stories and their characters will linger long after.
About the Author
Morgan Christie is an award-winning writer with works spanning multiple genres. Her off-Broadway play When We Talk About Watermelons won the 2017 Player’s Theatre Prize during its New York run. Christie’s short story collection These Bodies earned a Hurston/Wright Legacy Award nomination.
Her literary honors include the 2022 Arc Poetry Poem of the Year Prize, the Digging Chapbook Series Prize resulting in her latest release People Without Wings, the 2023 Howling Bird Book Prize for prose, and the 2023 Prairie Fire Fiction Contest. Christie has four poetry chapbooks and additional projects forthcoming.
Morgan Christie’s People Without Wings
Author’s Website: https://www.morganchristiewrites.com/