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New on the SF State Bookshelf

November 28, 2007

Toni Mirosevich's book cover features a photograph of her father, a salmon fisherman, sorting through fish.Professor of Creative Writing Toni Mirosevich (M.A., '92; M.F.A., '94) explores her connections with friends and strangers through paintbrushes, perfume and other unexpected avenues in "Pink Harvest: Tales of Happenstance."

In the collection of short reflections, Mirosevich proves that there are no small or insignificant moments in life; even a 30-minute window before a doctor's appointment can be filled with wonder. The personal narratives move through time and place as Mirosevich explores memories including those of her father's work as a fisherman, a pivotal moment on her high school drill team, the ownership of a table left in her neighborhood, her roots in Croatia, her girlfriend Shots' observations and an uncomfortable exchange at an O'Hare Airport security gate.

Mirosevich's collection, now available in bookstores, received the Mid-List Press First Series Award for Creative Nonfiction.

Following is an excerpt from the book:

It was late afternoon when I left work that day, around four-thirty or five, late enough to notice traffic was picking up. The stream of cars racing past seemed urgent in their rush toward home. Nineteenth and Holloway, the main crosswalk to San Francisco State University, is known as the most dangerous crosswalk in the city -- many cars have crashed and burned, pedestrians have been hit, here, at the gates of academe, this collision zone of life and higher learning. During the early part of the day, whenever a class is about to start, there is always a dash across this crosswalk by the latecomers, who have to hear one last love song in the car turned up full blast: a mad dash, for each person still hears a tardy bell ringing; forever it rings inside -- some eternal tinnitus -- and each person carries the memory of some teacher’s harsh reproach that quickens the step just a bit.

But here, in the late afternoon, as the car traffic picked up the human traffic slowed, so much so that when it was time to cross you could make out the individuals and consider who was crossing, give each person a story, a slim narrative, could name them or their majors, imagine who waited at home and what they’d make for dinner, burritos or borscht or a little microwaveable carton of gruel.

The light was coming in from the west, from the sea that was beyond the college. The light was angled in such a way that it's possible there was a luminosity factor at work, perhaps the rods and cones of the eyes were affected. Maybe there was a scientific explanation for the beauty of the light. The sunlight seemed to separate into distinct particles ("this little light of mine") as the people became distinct ("I'm gonna let it shine") and each person had the glow of one candle’s intensity.

-- Toni Mirosevich, "Pink Harvest: Tales of Happenstance" (Mid-List Press, November, 2007) excerpt reprinted by permission of the publisher

-- Adrianne Bee


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Last modified November 28, 2007 by University Communications