Lara Stapleton was born and raised in East Lansing, Michigan and lived for some time in Manila, Philippines. She received her M.A. from New York University. She currently is a part-time faculty member in the English Department at Long Island University, Brooklyn Campus and is working on her first novel. Her work has appeared in numerous journals. Lara co-edited Juncture: 25 Very Good Stories and 12 Excellent Drawings with Veronica Gonzalez and edited Thirdest World: Stories and Essays by Three Filipino Writers. She is the recipient of the Ludwig Vogelstein Foundation Grant for writers and a two-time winner of the University of Michigan’s Hopwood Award for fiction. She is also the winner of the Columbia Journal fiction prize. The Lowest Blue Flame Before Nothing is her first collection of short stories.
In this collection of twelve unforgettable short stories, Lara Stapleton writes from the same precarious emotional plane where her characters live. She writes about people living in a world that forces them to recreate daily their small corner of hope. These are people who don't quite fit; who often seem just a little out of step with their circumstances; who have a past to run from but no clear future to run to; who live in the present with the pure ache of longing.
A gutsy, emotionally astute collection of stories that walks the reader over the hot coals of unnamed desire.
— Ginu Kamani, author of Junglee Girl
Lara Stapleton takes us to a world in which everyone is intensely human and vulnerable, whether they are roaming the climate-controlled megamalls of Manila or the desolate streets of a Midwest town…With the precision of a microsurgeon, Stapleton dissects the subtle frustrations of the heart, picking out details and tell-tale cracks that make life seem so fragile, and therefore dear. The stories in The Lowest Blue Flame Before Nothing are an unflinching look into lives of quiet desperation, and an auspicious debut for its young author.
—Eric Gamalinda, editor, Flippin’: Filipinos on America
An Anthology of Filipina and Filipina-American Writers
As the first international anthology of Filipina writers published in the United States, Babaylan reflects the complex history of a people whose roots have stretched to both sides of the globe. With contributions from over 60 Filipina and Filipina American writers, Babaylan provides readers with a comprehensive view of a growing and vibrant transnational literary culture. Challenging, innovative, fierce, reflective, somber, funny—no one word can capture the extraordinary range of this collection. The voices represented in this collection offer a broad and varied perspective on the Filipina writer whose diasporic existence is a living, breathing bridge, not only between countries but also generations, as strong voices from the past fuel realities of the future.
PRAISE FOR THE LOWEST BLUE FLAME BEFORE NOTHING