Drawing from fairy tales, ghost stories, and science-fiction, the stories in ActivAmerica explore how we confront (and exert) power and re-imagine ourselves through sports and athletic activities. A group of girls starts an illicit hockey league in a conservative suburb. A recently separated woman must run a mile a day in order to maintain her new corporate health insurance. Children impacted by environmental disaster create a “mutant soccer team.” Two sisters are visited by an Olympic gymnast who demands increasingly dangerous moves from them. Sports allow the characters to form communities on soccer fields and hidden lakes, in overgrown backyards and across Ping-Pong tables. Throughout the collection, however, athletic risk also comes with unexpected, often unsettling results.
“ActivAmerica blends bracing originality with an affecting, impish spirit to affectionately satirize our absurd nation. These stories dazzle with their oddball sensibility and quick wit, announcing Meagan Cass as a writer to watch.”—Claire Vaye Watkins, author of Gold Fame Citrus and judge