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Josh Sheridan Faith

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In Josh Sheridan's complicated story "Faith," a woman negotiates the hypocrisy and exploitation of a small religious group. Whether you see the group as a cult or a religion, and whether you see the woman as a heretic or a believer will depend on your own ideas about faith. But Sheridan renders vividly the tense and passionate world in which his unnamed character wields the power of surrender and control. (6:46)

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VAL MALOOF Parking Garage Late at Night

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How fearless can you be? How fearless can you afford to be? In the "Parking Garage Late at Night" of Val Maloof's flash fiction, one woman's fear and imagination twine together as she faces danger. Maloof explores how the story the woman tells herself and the stories she's been told all her life--by her mother, by society--combine to save or abandon her. (2:50)

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JO-ANN BEKKER Riptide

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The narrator of Jo-Ann Bekker's "Riptide" insists we can believe her. 'Believe me when I tell you,' she says, many times. The story asks us whether we can trust this tale of infidelity, and whether even the woman telling us the story is certain of anything beyond the strong pull of desire. (6:44)

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PATRICIA BAKER Raking the Lizards

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There is a woman raking lizards down from a tree. There is a family to care for. There are errands to run. Our narrator wages war against the lizards who return each day, undefeated, but she fights other things, too, in a much more complicated battle. (5:57)

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AINE GREANEY The Man on the Train

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A train makes the perfect setting for this story about a woman in limbo--between jobs, between countries and cultures, between homes. Aine Greaney's "The Man on the Train" turns a conversation with a stranger into a study of belonging, as Lorna, Irish and recently arrived from her home in England, travels into Boston from her sister's suburban home. (22:07)

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CHARLIE WATTS Five Wishes

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"Five Wishes" unfolds in as many episodes, each one telling a linked variation on a tale of a boy, his mother and father, a stream, a shovel, and a piece of purple quartz. Taken together, these episodes are like facets on a stone, revealing new insights on this little family while at the same time allowing us to see the heart of the story. (16:15)

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