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American Voices

American suburbs are populated with mostly white and wealthy residents, white picket fences, and children preparing themselves for corporate positions at Ivy-league schools. Connecticut certainly fits this profile, as it is often cited as a state with the densest concentration of wealth in the USA. But labels or hashtags can be misleading, especially in an age when voices tend to congregate in separate choirs. If one takes the time to listen, there are interesting personalities who may miss the color in their own lives in pursuit of “something better.” Here, I have fused a series of short stories about fictional characters in a Connecticut town, liberally sprinkled with historical anecdotes of “locals who made good,” to illustrate how mundane situations can be elevated to the realm of common human experiences, if one appreciated life. An older man fulfills his midlife crisis with a Porsche. A couple, Jack and Jill, are caught up in a relationship tango of misunderstandings. A first-generation immigrant works long hours, with many disappointments, while yearning for a Disney-like version of his former homeland. These are the quirky and ultimately enduring stories of a few normal voices that often remain mute in today’s America.

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