Shrapnel explores the legacy of war in three generations of men from the Butler family. Bing Butler, a seventy-seven year-old right-wing widower and WWII veteran from Texas, reluctantly moves in with his feminist, anti-war daughter in West Virginia. Here, he is forced to bury painful family secrets and stifle his tendencies towards racism, classism, and homophobia; but his post-9/11 anxieties equally force him to grapple with these psychological foibles, as his daughter's only son rallies to enlist to serve overseas. Bing had once embraced such patriotic ferver, but after bullying his own son into going to Vietnam he finds he must now muster a kind of emotional bravery he never knew he was capable of in order to keep the family together. At turns funny and at other turns frightening (and frighteningly honest), Shrapnel is always surprising and ultimately greatly rewarding.
Manilla is a graduate of the Iowa Writers Workshop. Her story " Crystal City" was one of three finalists for the 2003 Nelson Algren Awards and was published in the Chicago Tribune. Her stories have appeared in the Mississippi Review, Toyon, Timber Creek Review, and in Prairie Schooner, where she received the 1997 Laurence Foundation Award for best short story. Manilla lives in Huntington, West Virginia. Shrapnel will be published in Fall 2008