In 2012, we established Ploughshares Solos, a digital-first series for longer stories and essays, which is edited by Ploughshares Editor-in-Chief Ladette Randolph. New Solos are published regularly and are available for download on your Kindle, Nook, iPad, or Kobo.
After college professor Cass receives an intriguing student response to an art assignment about human connection, she considers the hidden selfish desires behind acts of kindness toward strangers. When she shows the submission to her brother Glen, the pair reflect on their own dysfunctional family and unfulfilled personal lives.
On September 7, 1978, Bulgarian writer and journalist Georgi Markov was assassinated by the Bulgarian government. Since moving to London in 1970 and working as a newscaster for the BBC’s Foreign Service, he had become one of the most vocal critics of the regime, broadcasting narrative essays about life in Bulgaria.
As he awaits the results of his HIV test, Eduardo recalls the summer of his thirteenth year, when he learned about the crimes of his father, a Nazi officer at Dachau. Struggling with this knowledge, young Eduardo takes solace in visiting the lake where his father died, but his guilt is complicated by the knowledge that as a gay man, in a different time, he too might have been a victim of his father’s.
On a trip to Disney's Fort Wilderness with his soon-to-be ex-girlfriend June and her family, George spends most of the trip counting down the minutes until he can return to New York. On the last night of their vacation, June’s abusive mother joins them for dinner and her sister seems to disappear, revealing fractures no one wants to acknowledge. Sometimes we can't escape our pasts but must confront them head on.
In 1978 James Alan McPherson made history as the first African-American writer to win the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. Told from the perspective of one of McPherson’s closest friends and students, “Old School” is a celebration of writing, memory, and true friendship and its importance in our lives. It provides a brief yet touching glimpse into the life of one of the United States’ most distinguished writers.
Nellie’s brother Jimmy passed away when she was only nine years old. As she reflects on the accident that claimed his life, she must acknowledge her own mortality and the empty space that death leaves behind.
Dr. Katya Vidović left behind memories of war and a dying mother when she emigrated from Croatia to the United States as a child. Now working with adolescent girls who suffer from eating disorders fueled by the fear of losing control, Katya struggles to help her patients while confronting her own desperate need to make peace with the past.
When a mother and her baby are found dead in their car, a small New England town is forced to confront its secrets. As the news settles and rumors spread, the mother of the young family must grapple with the new understanding that this town is not the safe and peaceful place it pretends to be.
Sitting at a crossroads in the Guatemalan highlands, the Blue River Hotel has served as witness to the conflict and consequences of the country’s civil war. After a Canadian traveler passes through, he's forced to question the life he's chosen and to consider the effects of leaving his career and his fiancée behind for an uncertain future with a woman who has unexpectedly entered his life.
Kaat is ready to marry her girlfriend Stone. They live together in Paris, are both pursuing their careers, and have even talked about having a baby. Then a motorcycle accident disrupts Kaat’s plans, and she is confronted by flaws in their seemingly perfect life and a secret that could destroy everything.