Tadpoles by Joshua Britton
Twelve tales of children struggling with childhood and parents grappling with parenthood, told with wit and sympathy:
Two boys plan to sell the tadpoles they find in a creek to pet stores after they turn into frogs.
A pianist tries to protect his infant child from becoming collateral damage when his neighbor falls afoul of the mob.
A volatile father, released from institutionalization, tries to convince his in-laws that he is fit to take care of his two-year-old son.
Worrying about how to tell his conservative parents that his girlfriend is pregnant, a man finds the remains of a corpse in her backyard.
“Just as the cycle of frogs starts with the smallest of flashes in the waters of life and ends with a leap into the unknown, Britton’s Tadpoles captures shots like a hidden photographer documenting first steps of children to their inevitable mistakes and how tides cause us all to change. These collected stories take the reader from the eyes of a kid to parents and guardians across genres of drama, crime, dystopia, and the apocalyptic.”
- Tim Heerdink, author of Razed Monuments and The Human Remains
“These stories, artfully told, are replete with conflicted persons in complex situations. What an engaging read! Joshua Britton has a great way of laying out a story that leads the reader in. He offers much to lovers of short fiction.”
- Frank Gordon, author of Somewheres in the Middle
“Britton’s works are fresh, bright, and at times stark, pungent, and dark. His stories cover themes of life and death, childhood happiness and teenage angst, making friends to the era of friend requests, ranging from creeps and corpses to tadpoles and spiders. A unique voice of the like of John Updike and Walker Percy.”
-John William McMullen, author of The Miracle of Stalag 8A & The Haunted Train Bridge