Winner of the 2017 Katherine Anne Porter Prize, and now available from UNT Press!
“ActivAmerica blends bracing originality with an affecting, impish spirit to affectionately satirize our absurd nation. These stories dazzle with their oddball sensibility and quick wit, announcing Meagan Cass as a writer to watch.”—Claire Vaye Watkins, author of Gold Fame Citrus and judge
“Sports run through the stories in Megan Cass’s collection, but what distinguishes ActivAmerica most is a rich imagination, a quirky sense of humor, and an abiding interest in matters of the heart. It’s a wonderful debut.”—Joshua Henkin, author of The World Without You
“Meagan Cass explores family loneliness with exquisite sympathy and an unflinching gaze.” —Brian Morton, author of Florence Gordon
Drawing from fairy tales, ghost stories, and science-fiction, the stories in ActivAmerica explore how we confront (and exert) power and re-imagine ourselves through sports and athletic activities. A group of girls starts an illicit hockey league in a conservative suburb. A recently separated woman must run a mile a day in order to maintain her new corporate health insurance. Children impacted by environmental disaster create a “mutant soccer team.” Two sisters are visited by an Olympic gymnast who demands increasingly dangerous moves from them. Sports allow the characters to form communities on soccer fields and hidden lakes, in overgrown backyards and across Ping-Pong tables. Throughout the collection, however, athletic risk also comes with unexpected, often unsettling results.