Paul Sullivan’s collection of short stories, Journeys, includes fifteen well-written moments, each of them plunging readers into the world of a character who is at an exciting, terrifying, or devastating point. Readers travel with Sullivan from the Arctic Sound, where an Inuit boy is hunting seals with his father for the first time, to Africa, where a safari hunting guide finds himself so guilt-ridden over the kill of a respected leopard that he begins to believe that the leopard’s ghost is after him. The collection moves to Florence, where a sad old man, lost staring at a girl in his own paintings, and a young American couple interact. They have more in common with each other than they realize.
These stories are intertwined beautifully with themes of family dynamics, broken friendships, and the evolution of a person’s life in relation to his or her surroundings, whether it be the cheek-biting wind in the Arctic, a twenty-four-hour diner, open all night during a snowstorm, or a street in Spain, where a long-distance couple walks slowly toward their hotel, knowing that the next morning will bring an end to their trip and their time together.
“Stories Never Told” and “Open Water” were previously published in Rosebud magazine.