Chase Us: Stories
Ennis’s debut collection provides glimpses into the lives of a cohort of boys from the outskirts of Philadelphia, who grow older but never really grow up. In most of the stories, the boys are adolescent—shooting bows and arrows, playing suicide against a wall with a tennis ball, drinking their first beers—and Ennis nails the spite, tenderness, and trepidation in the voice of both an 11-year-old boy and the man he becomes. Regarding the nun who is the boys’ teacher, the nameless narrator thinks, “She smiled when she explained to our class that she was married to Christ, but we knew it was really us she was bound to.” Whether he’s portraying a teenage war between skaters and “guidos” or the vulnerability of a father holding a newborn baby, the author presents the raw messiness of fear and confusion through a lyric cadence. Though some of the stories feel repetitive, it’s clear by the end of the book that Ennis has crafted a beautiful, hard-hitting collection.
Writing and Rhetoric
Little A/New Harvest
Ennis, Sean, "Chase Us: Stories" (2014). Liberal Arts Faculty Books. 16.