June In July
“I felt like I was trapped in a long hallway with only one exit that I knew of.”
June is a lonesome freelance writer spending his days on the tranquil beach of Annianna. One morning, he strikes up a conversation with an enigmatic Middle Easterner named Tahir. June learns that Tahir is a herder who was forced to flee across North Africa and stow on board a ship headed for America after his family came under attack in his homeland.
June and Tahir form an atypical but deep friendship. The forlorn American grows fascinated by the mysterious immigrant Muslim. June realizes he needs Tahir in his life, someone to disrupt the sludge of monotony and despair that has leaked into his existence. Yet their friendship carries grim repercussions for both when small-town bigotry simmers to the surface.
June In July is an emotive short story about race, paranoia and solitude. For his debut, Hunter Heath creates unusual yet immensely engaging figures in June and Tahir. Heath’s elegant prose, much like the inhales and exhales of the waves of Annianna beach, draws us in, before sharply snapping us back with a shocking conclusion.
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