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.
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.
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.
The only reason Ebo enlists to fight in Vietnam is because it means a free trip to O’ahu where he can visit his younger sister, Momo. He hasn’t seen Momo, who is disabled, since she became a ward of the state. During his last night before leaving for basic training, Ebo’s mother lets him in on a secret, which forces him to question his future, the importance of family, and who he really is.
Timothy Parrish’s “The Critic” is a slightly surrealist account of the fraught, yet creative relationship cultivated between artists and critics. We meet a music critic who has devoted his entire life to covering the career of an elusive, Bob Dylan-esque musician referred to as “The Twerp.” But as the critic begins to hear The Twerp’s voice everywhere, we learn his vocation may have turned the corner into obsession.