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As the fourth work in a collection also featuring the works of Vanessa Kay, Mary Jane Nealon and Alan Heathcock, curated by Shann Ray; this short story by Shann Ray explores the theme of "Light and Darkness" from the perspective of Isaiah 61:3.

Isaiah 61:3

Fourteen Types of Hunger


Shann Ray


Curated by: 

Shann Ray


Short Story

Image by Giorgio Trovato

Primary Scripture

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In this story I’ve tried to speak to the inner life that accompanies both desolation and consolation. The overwhelming fact that all people experience pain and joy, and that sometimes we have no idea of the great sorrow the person next to us carries, is one of the central inspirations for the art that informs my experience of our shared humanity. In my own inner life “the garment of praise instead of the spirit of despair” is both a leap of faith in this world of violence, and a deep and enduring hope in the intimacy that exists here and now. When we love others and we are loved, I believe we are given the grace to see the Divine in them and in ourselves.

Spark Notes

The Artist's Reflection

Shann Ray’s collection of stories American Masculine (Graywolf Press), named by Esquire as one of Three Books Every Man Should Read and selected by Kirkus Reviews as a Best Book of the Year, won the Bakeless Prize, the High Plains Book Award, and the American Book Award. Sherman Alexie called it “tough, poetic, and beautiful” and Dave Eggers said Ray’s work is “lyrical, prophetic, and brutal, yet ultimately hopeful.”

Shann’s creative nonfiction book of leadership and political theory Forgiveness and Power in the Age of Atrocity (Rowman &Littlefield) explores the nature of categorical human transgressions and engages the question of ultimate forgiveness in the context of ultimate violence. His book of poems, Balefire, is forthcoming with Lost Horse Press.

Shann lives with his wife and three daughters in Spokane, Washington where he teaches leadership and forgiveness studies at Gonzaga University.

Shann Ray

About the Artist

Isaiah 61:3 Collection

Shann Ray

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