Oranges features a collection of linked short stories about the life of Michael, a gay man from the Midwest who must find his own confusing path to adulthood after personal loss.
In addition to the loss of his partner, Michael is confronted with a number of challenges, including coming to terms with his sexuality in the age of AIDS, facing his family’s difficulties accepting him, and dealing with the death of his mother and the aging of his father.
Gary Eldon Peter of St. Paul, Minn., knew from a young age that he was destined to become a writer. “My mom worked in a library, so there was a lot of support for reading. I had some excellent English and journalism teachers in high school and college,” he said.
After graduating from college, he went to law school and went on to work as a judicial clerk, as well as for a law firm and later in legal publishing. In 1994, he went back to school to pursue a MFA (Master of Fine Arts) in creative writing from Sarah Lawrence College in New York. He graduated in 1996.
Today, Peter is a faculty member for College of Education and Human Development at the University of Minnesota. He teachers First Year Inquiry, which introduces new college students to issues related to politics, law and several other subjects through both fiction and non-fiction. He also teaches Writing in the Workplace, which helps upper division students learn best practices for communicating in the workplace; Reflections of Law and Justice, which is a film and television course about how popular culture reflects our understanding of how the law works; and a graduate level writing course for students working on their master’s degree papers.
Gary Eldon Peter’s short stories have appeared in Callisto, Water~Stone Review, Great River Review, and other publications. His linked short story collection, Oranges, won the 2016 New Rivers Press Many Voices Project competition in Prose and was a finalist for the 2015 Flannery O'Connor Award for Short Fiction. New Rivers Press will publish Oranges in Fall 2018.
Gary Eldon Peter is a native of Austin, Minn. When not writing or teaching, he enjoys cooking, baking and spending time exercising.