Jan Bowman is winner of the Roanoke Review Fiction Award. Her stories have been nominated for Pushcart Prizes, Best American Short Stories, a Pen/O’Henry award. Her fiction has appeared in Evening Street Review, Uncertain Promise: An Anthology of Short Fiction and Creative Nonfiction, Roanoke Review, The Broadkill Review, Third Wednesday, Minimus, Buffalo Spree (97), Folio, The Potomac Review, Musings, and others.
Jan’s stories have been finalists or short- listed for the Broad River Review RASH Award for Fiction, The Phoebe Fiction Contest and So-to-Speak fiction contest. Glimmer Train named a story as Honorable Mention for Short Story Awards for New Writers.
She is working on a new story collection, working title, Life Boat Drills for Children. She has nonfiction publications in Atticus Review, Trajectory, and Pen-in-Hand. She writes a regular blog on her website on the writing life and interviews writers and publishers.
The stories in Flight Path & Other Stories reveal the power of kindness. In difficult moments of human contact, explored from childhood through old age, this collection provides a window into the kindness all people seek in moments of sorrow. In her poem Kindness, Naomi Shihab Nye writes that when you know sorrow as “the other deepest thing . . . then it is only kindness that makes sense anymore.” from – “Kindness” in Words Under The Words: Selected Poems (1995) by Naomi Shihab Nye.
The dynamic mix of characters in these stories, know much about sorrow. They know it in the burden of a wife looking after her war-damaged husband and the son who confronts her more than 35 years after she abandons them. They know it in the struggle to hide from violence of the world, even though violence finds them. But they do know kindness, too. They know it in the unspoken understanding between a young man and his elderly aunt in the aftermath of a violent murder. They know it in small gestures between friends, and even strangers, after a sudden death, as well as through the unexpected connections found on the other end of the phone or a shared meal.
What others are saying:
For years I’ve been reading, admiring, and learning from Jan Bowman’s short stories. Her stories explore what we mean to one another, what is discovered, often only in moments of hardship and duress. These stories tread and plummet over rough terrain. That they do so with unflinching candor and searing vision is one reason to read them. The characters, each so distinct and nuanced that together they form a community, will be forever etched onto your memory. But the reason I keep returning to them? It’s the hope they provide, the unexpected paths they suggest, consoling me when I feel lost by enlarging and enriching what it means to be human. —Daniel Mueller, author of How Animals Mate and Nights I Dreamed of Hubert Humphrey
Jan Bowman’s short stories amaze with their insight and attention to the strange forms beauty and sadness assume, the way these qualities twist themselves into grace notes of the human experience. Her collection gives readers glimpses into the hearts of characters whose worlds are both familiar and surprising, leaving indelible impressions about life’s difficult and profound loveliness. —Michelle Brooks, author of Make Yourself Small and Dead Girl, Live Boy
These are heartfelt, rich, deeply intimate stories that unabatedly evoke and explore the vast range of human emotion. A wonderful and resonant collection. —Fred Leebron, author of the novels Out West, Six Figures, and In the Middle of All This