November 29, 2018
One of the most salient developments in recent short story criticism focuses on the genre’s connection with liminality. Both short fiction’s suitability to convey the liminal and liminality as a defining feature of the short story are at stake. The short fiction of contemporary author Janice Galloway is a good example of this. After a brief introduction to the concept of liminality, I discuss one story from each of Galloway’s collections of short fiction: “Frostbite” is the story of how a young music student crosses an existential boundary and leaves behind disabling expectations and fears; “jellyfish” features a divorced woman undergoing a liminal moment in her experience of motherhood, whereas the woman in a homeless couple in “a night in” narrates her experience as a privileged witness to ontological liminality affecting both space and language.