Flash Fiction Stories In Honor of Juneteenth

Fiction - Cultural
95 Pages
Reviewed on 06/27/2021
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Author Biography

Theodore Jerome (Ted) Cohen is an award-winning author who has published more than ten novels--all but one of them mystery/thrillers--two books of short stories, and eight flash-fiction anthologies. He also writes illustrated storybooks for children (K-3) in the series Stories for the Early Years as well as Young Adult (YA) novels under the pen name "Alyssa Devine." During the course of his 45-year career he worked as an engineer, scientist, CBS Radio Station News Service (RSNS) commentator, private investigator, and Antarctic explorer. What he's been able to do with his background is mix fiction with reality in ways that even his family and friends have been unable to unravel!

Dr. Cohen's writings (he holds three degrees in the physical sciences) have received the highest reviews from Feathered Quill, Hollywood Book Reviews, Kirkus Discoveries, Pacific Book Review, Reader Views, and Readers' Favorite, among others, with many of his books recognized for their excellence through medals awarded by several of these same organizations following their annual book competitions. In 2017, for example, Readers' Favorite awarded Dr. Cohen's first short story anthology, The Road Less Taken: A Collection of Unusual Short Stories - Book 1, a Silver Medal while the National Association of Book Entrepreneurs (NABE) awarded the same book its Pinnacle Book Achievement Award for Best in Category: Short Stories. The NABE also awarded Dr. Cohen's collection, Creative Ink, Flashy Fiction: Flash Fiction Anthology - Book 3, its Pinnacle Book Achievement Award for Best in Category: Anthology - Winter, 2018.

    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

Flash Fiction Stories In Honor of Juneteenth is a work of fiction in the flash fiction, anthology, and cultural fiction subgenres, and was penned by author Theodore Jerome Cohen, who also uses the pen-name Alyssa Devine. The work is intended for the general adult reading audience, and could also be read by the YA reading group to introduce them to more complex cultural fiction and issues. Collecting together sixteen different stories about the nature of what it means to be black, then and now, the work seeks to bring to light the atrocities of slavery, prejudice, and systemic racism through snapshot-style stories. What results is a highly engrossing collection of poignant and emotional moments that is sure to keep readers turning the pages from cover to cover.

Author Theodore Jerome Cohen has crafted an engrossing collection of fiction with plenty of pathos, significance, heartbreak, and warmth, and one which felt like it was over far too soon for this reader. One of the features which I found particularly impressive about this piece was the author’s empathy and respect for the subject matter, balancing an educational approach as an ally with reverence and dedication to representation. I also really enjoyed the selection of photographs that introduce each tale, adding another layer of visual media, mood, and character to the moments we’re about to experience, and settling them in the real world all the more. Overall, I would highly recommend Flash Fiction Stories In Honor of Juneteenth to fans of short and impactful fiction, vivid character, and dialogue work, and for readers looking to expand their cultural horizons everywhere.

Astrid Iustulin

Flash Fiction Stories in Honor of Juneteenth is the sixteenth book in the Flash Fiction Anthologies Series by Theodore Jerome Cohen, who also uses the pen name Alyssa Devine in some of his stories. As you can guess from the title, this collection of 16 stories intends to celebrate a specific event in American history, the creation of Juneteenth. Following the usual pattern of the series, each story of Flash Fiction Stories in Honor of Juneteenth takes inspiration from a photograph and is often very short, less than a page long, although there are some longer exceptions. In what can be considered a journey made of both words and images, Cohen and Devine have created a wonderful universe to celebrate Juneteenth.

I am a fan of Cohen/Devine's short stories because every book I have read has been a pleasant surprise. In this case, what fascinated me was the idea of ​​using Juneteenth's commemoration as a guiding thread and celebrating the emancipation of African Americans with several amazing stories. Flash Fiction Stories in Honor of Juneteenth has the usual humor that characterizes Cohen/Devine's prose, but this time, more than in other collections, it gave me food for thought. My personal preference goes to the stories about Ellington and Mack Robinson, elder brother of legendary baseball player Jackie Robinson; there is always something special in the stories featuring real-life characters. I recommend reading Flash Fiction Stories in Honor of Juneteenth to anyone who enjoys good reading, and I especially recommend it during the days closest to the celebration. It is a great way to spend that particular moment.

Deborah Lloyd

Beginning with the latest development in the celebration of Juneteenth - the fact that President Biden established June 19 as a federal holiday, on June 17, 2021 – the history and present-day realities are presented well. This holiday recognizes the day when over 250,000 enslaved Black people in Texas were finally freed, two and a half years after the Emancipation Proclamation was signed. In sixteen short stories, the author develops a snapshot of what Black people have endured over the past one hundred and fifty years. Some stories depict horrible scenes of lynching and cruelty; other vignettes illustrate the endurance, joys, and friendships found among the people. Author Theodore Jerome Cohen/Alyssa Devine has compiled a compelling book in Flash Fiction Stories In Honor of Juneteenth.

While this book is a quick read, it is one that will induce many poignant, thought-provoking moments for every reader. Underneath most incidents, layers of bigotry and injustice are revealed. The stories cover a wide range of topics – from cruelty to slaves, to lynchings, to music, to how to live a long life. The photographs accompanying each scenario are simply amazing as each one captures the mood that prevails in the text. The writing craftsmanship of this author is extraordinary as each story paints a vivid picture within a few paragraphs. His skills are truly unmatched. Flash Fiction Stories In Honor of Juneteenth, penned by Theodore Jerome Cohen, is a fascinating compilation of his work. For anyone who wants to develop a stronger understanding of the Black experience, this book is a must-read!