Casting Nets

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Gunkel, Kay Exley
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School of Letters Thesis 2012 , School of Letters, University of the South, Sewanee, Tennessee , University of the South , MFA Thesis, Sewanee School of Letters , Collection of short stories , Savannah, Georgia , Independent women , Place as a character
Casting Nets is a collection of thirteen short stories each with a protagonist who clings fiercely to her (or, in a few cases, his) individuality. Ten of the thirteen stories are set in Savannah, Georgia, a coastal small city whose history, architecture, salt water creeks, and grace are as unique as the characters portrayed in the tales. Savannah becomes a player in nearly every story; she influences the personalities of the characters, as other human beings in the stories cannot. What is the isolation of the individual soul, and how can a longing for love affect that soul’s uniqueness? Is there a community of life that betrays individuality, or can community enhance a person’s rareness? The protagonists of the stories range in age from eleven to sixty-nine. From the youngest to the oldest, they look death in the face and defy it. They each protect their personal freedom but hold out hope for keen relationships with other people. A spider entraps prey in her web; a shrimp net tucks crustaceans into a snare; mirrors reflect images of reality with smudges; repentance lives in quiet, shadowy places.