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Short Stories
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Independent Press Award

2024 Distinguished Favorite

How Boys Learn

Jeff Kirchick

In today's world, young men grapple with concepts like "toxic masculinity" that often lead to self-doubt and aimlessness. Such ideologies can push them toward negative influences online or unproductive behaviors. How Boys Learn by Jeff Kirchick presents a different perspective, delving into the nuanced journeys boys navigate. These stories offer insight into friendships, relationships, sexuality, and the quest to become better individuals.

Kirchick's collection captures diverse experiences: from a conflicted teenage wrestler in rural Pennsylvania to a postwar society designed to curb "bad ideas," and a doctor's encounters with family and an unusual patient. Love is the overarching theme, whether it's the characters' connections with others or their pursuit of self-love.

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