A Foreword 2013 IndieFab Award Finalist
Sidewalk Dancing is a careful exploration of a diverse family’s dynamics told with the subtle wrist bends and brush strokes of a perpetual outsider. Multiple narratives told by a gifted multi-ethnic artist create a beautifully crooked mosaic.
Hawaiian-born Letitia Moffitt, who studied writing under Maxine Hong Kingston, channels her mentor’s humor and compassion with linked stories of strained family relations.
Miranda McGee, the daughter of shy, pragmatic Grace Chao and globetrotting dreamer George McGee, feels like a social pariah. She says she is the first in the line, a factory original, not bound to one land, nor one people. Miranda knows she doesn’t entirely belong anywhere. When she’s home, she’s never entirely at home and when she’s away, she never is quite away.
Miranda doesn’t understand how her parents ever married, how they picked up and moved to Oahu. How, despite their cultural differences, they could start a new life, build a house, raise a child, and run a popular local diner.
Miranda may feel like an outcast in Hawaii or New York, but it is her alienation from her family environment and her own identity that makes her realize that some people feel like outsiders no matter where they are, and this alone may be the one thing her family members have in common.
Praise for Sidewalk Dancing
“Moffitt’s power lies in her ability to weave together two generations by telling the stories of first one and then the other and allowing the reader to see the connections between them. Ultimately, these ties unravel, and the generations become separate, the younger finally, painfully, severing itself from the older generation as we watch, as we are unable and unwilling to look away.” — The Missouri Review
“Letitia is a great writer, one of those people you think, ‘Why don’t I know more about her?’ I discovered her work when I started teaching at EIU, and immediately loved the quiet elegance of her fiction … I love how her stories really build and build and draw you further into the worlds she creates.” – Roxane Gay, author of Ayiti
“Sidewalk Dancing leads us to consider what makes up ‘home’ — is it in our similarities to the people to whom we’re related, or is it defined by our differences? [With] stories [that] are poignant, funny, nuanced and engaging, Moffitt creates complicated, interesting relationships between her characters, whom one can’t help but like and admire, flaws and all…A highly recommended read for fans of literary short fiction.” – Books, Personally
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Letitia L. Moffitt was born and raised in Hawaii. She received a doctoral degree in English and Creative Writing from Binghamton University in New York, and she currently teaches creative writing as an associate professor at Eastern Illinois University. Her work—fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction—has been published in literary journals including PANK, HTMLGiant, Black Warrior Review, Aux Arc Review, Jabberwock Review, Coe Review, The MacGuffin, and Dos Passos Review.