Reading Melanie Rae Thon's stories is like watching a series of movies through a glittery, gossamer curtain -- an experience both disturbing and thrilling. Disturbing because most of her characters are throwaway kids. Thrilling because of Thon's startling ability to become each one of her people, to move inside the bodies and minds of the dispossessed, to give them voices and color. One homeless child speaks for all: "I'm your worst fear. But not the worst thing that can happen."
In This Light moves with a fearless grace: an intoxicated woman hits and abandons a Native American man on a desolate Montana road; a grieving slave murders the white baby she nurses and loves; two throwaway kids dance in the twinkling lights of a Christmas tree in a stranger's house, as "all the angels hanging from the branches opened their glass mouths, stunned." Thon's searing prose reveals that the radiant heat inside us all is the hope and hunger for love.
During this week's program, Thon talks about her creative process and reads from the her collection of stories, In This Light. She also reads her lyrical essay called, "Five Reasons to Tell a Story in 2011."
Tune in Thursday evening at 6:30 (YPRadio.org) or 7:30 (MTPR.org). Or sign up for the TWQ podcast.
Find out more about Melanie Rae Thon and listen to the program online.