Strivers and Other Stories – Summaries

Story Synopsis Setting
Some Get Back  Two bakery workers set out to get revenge against an ornery boss. 1930s, Augusta, GA
Assisted Living  As punishment, a teenaged girl is tasked with visiting her principal’s elderly mother who lives in an assisted living facility. Contemporary, a Southern city
The Benefactress  A principal of a black high school in the South makes an annual appeal to his school’s wealthy benefactress and faces compromising his ideals to keep the funds flowing. 1920s, New York City and Long Island
Love You. Always An aging R&B bass player visits his grown daughter in an annual ritual to make amends for past bad deeds.  A mysterious bracelet worn by the father helps to warm the chill of their relationship. Contemporary, a Southern city
Collier Road  A family man seeks to move his wife and daughters to a better neighborhood after neighbors have a street fight. 1978, a Southern City
The Photograph  The story behind a notable news photograph haunts a married pair of Southern ex-hippies when the photo is to be commemorated in the local newspaper. 2000s, a Southern college town
Cotton Compress During his summer vacation, a graduate student wants to teach life lessons to the laborers who eat at his aunt’s makeshift lunch counter. 1940s, Augusta, GA
Glass House An Army wife learns the history of the curious house she hates to live. 1990s, a Georgia city
Just Desserts  After robbing a drunken suitor she met at a bar, a young woman manages to hitch a ride home and decides along the way that bad things should happen to those who deserve it. 1990s, rural Georgia and Atlanta
Tea Time  A young black man and his Jewish newlywed have a tea party with his mentee, a kid from the other side of town. Things go wrong and relationships become fragile. Contemporary, suburban and inner city Washington, DC
Dates for Kreeger An ambitious young city worker opens up to his homosexuality and tries to find love in all the right places. Contemporary, Norfolk and Virginia Beach, VA
Crystal Lake  A remembrance of a summer fraternity picnic where a project kid accompanies his mentor and learns what it means to be a fish out of water. 1970s, a Southern City
Strivers A Pullman Porter’s daughter prepares for a debutant ball during Christmastime. A visiting uncle plans to be her dance partner since the father has to be away for work. 1950s, Augusta, GA
The Interview While his classmates at a respected Philadelphia university dream of Wall Street, a young man settles for interviewing with a Southern tool manufacturer.  The interview process takes a raunchy turn. Contemporary, Spartanburg, SC
Lester Is Late A cancer diagnosis and a delayed card game bring about thoughts of mortality and an appreciation of life. 1980s, a Southern city