We’re excited to announce the release of our most recent Ploughshares Solo, “The Detroit Frankfurt School Discussion Group” by Douglas Trevor. In our Ploughshares Solos series, we publish longer stories and essays first in an affordable, digital format, and then in our annual Ploughshares Solos Omnibus Series. For more information and some great reading material, check out our previously published Solos or the Ploughshares Solos Omnibus Volume 3.
About “The Detroit Frankfurt School Discussion Group”
Colin, a newly divorced lecturer of critical theory, wants to spice up his life. He attempts to learn Russian, gives online dating a go, and even entertains the idea of becoming an alcoholic—but nothing sticks. So when two young women he’s never met before ask him to party, he ignores the red flags and climbs into their car. Almost as quickly as they pull away from the curb, Colin learns they’re not headed to a party: they’re headed to an abandoned building in Detroit to discuss the Frankfurt School of Critical Theory. And Colin is slated to be the guest speaker, whether he likes it or not.
“The Detroit Frankfurt School Discussion Group” is available on pshares.org for $2.99.
Here’s an excerpt from the Solo:
How could he really refuse an invitation to hear people discuss Frankfurt School ideas with the conditions of a specific urban environment in mind—one just forty-odd miles from his house? Even if it would be clearly insane to get back into this car. Even if he did have majority custody of two small children. Even if it was entirely possible that these people weren’t intending to take him to a Frankfurt School discussion group at all. He still wasn’t sure how he could pass up the chance to hear critical theory discussed by non-academics in Detroit.
“Have you ever even been to the D?” Tina asked, interrupting his train of thought.
“Just to see the Tigers a couple of times,” Colin mumbled.
“Going to a Tigers game, that isn’t going to Detroit . . .”
She seemed prepared to explain why but Missy interrupted, her voice dripping with sarcasm. “You should see the D on a nice spring night, Colin. They say the poverty is really beautiful, as the sun goes down.”
About the Author
Douglas Trevor is the author of the short story collection The Thin Tear in the Fabric of Space, which won the 2005 Iowa Short Fiction Award and was a finalist for the 2006 Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award for first fiction, and the novel Girls I Know, which was the recipient of the 2013 Balcones Fiction Prize. Trevor’s work has appeared most recently in The Iowa Review, The Notre Dame Review, The Minnesota Review, and New Letters. He has also had stories in The Paris Review, Glimmer Train, Epoch, Black Warrior Review, The New England Review, Michigan Quarterly Review, and more than a dozen other publications. His short fiction has been anthologized in—among other places—The O. Henry Prize Stories and The Best American Nonrequired Reading. He is a Professor of English and Creative Writing at the University of Michigan, where he teaches in the Helen Zell Writers’ Program.
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