What Makes You Think You're Awake?
Winner of the Bakwin Award. Final contest judge and award-winning author Carmen Maria Machado (Her Body and Other Parties) described the work as "a wonderful debut; a collection of frank, funny, and heartbreaking stories that delve into the mire of human loneliness."
Poland's stories usher in a world where mortal fear, the threat of violation, and the body's looming betrayal drive us to look beyond surface appearances. In these stories, readers will find: a mosquito-borne illness invading a small southern town, forcing its inhabitants to negotiate their lust against the threats of virus-induced paralysis; a pair of newlyweds on their honeymoon at a luxury resort whose automated services quickly turn menacing; a woman whose backyard shed freezes time, forcing her to decide between her need for love and her need for escape. Poland's stories move among richly imagined landscapes, bringing to life the deep loneliness at the heart of the modern condition and the ephemerality of the bridges we build against the dark.
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About the Author
Maegan Poland teaches creative writing and composition at Drexel University in Philadelphia. She received her PhD in English from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, where her work was supported by a Black Mountain Institute fellowship. She also holds an MFA in fiction from the University of Mississippi, as well as a BFA in writing for screen and television from the University of Southern California, where she was a Trustee Scholar.
Her fiction has been published in Mississippi Review, Pleiades, Beloit Fiction Journal, Juked, Notre Dame Review, and elsewhere. She has received a special mention in the Pushcart Prize anthology, a Tin House scholarship, and a grant from the Elizabeth George Foundation. She is currently working on a novel.