“Sophomore, 19, is School Year’s First Fatality” by Dan Chaon

A young man drives home from a party, thinking that by taking the back roads he will avoid the police and a DUI. He realizes too late that there are worse things than getting a DUI. Like him, one could drive to the edge of a cliff without realizing it, exit one’s vehicle and fall down a cliff only to impale himself on a tree. It is then, as he is no longer able to avoid the severity of his situation, do we witness a shift in how he sees life and faces death.

About the Author

Dan Chaon’s stories have appeared in Best American Short Stories, The O. Henry Prize, and the Pushcart Prize. His collection Among the Missing was a National Book Award nominee; his most recent collection, Stay Awake, was a finalist for the Story Prize. He lives in Cleveland.


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