Daniel Stolar's short story collection, The Middle of the Night, was published by Picador in 2003. He became fairly well known, maybe more for his story than his stories, in 2005 around the litblogosphere.
Crossing Over is probably more like what a reader would find to be a traditional short story than many of the works I've looked at lately. Where many of the recent Works of the Day have been shorter pieces, Stolar's effort is 46 pages in length and multi-tiered in its storylines.
The protagonist, Billy, begins the story as a 14 year old and finding himself switching schools, much to the chagrin of his liberal, Jewish father, and moves forward, at a nice steady pace, up until the time when he himself has a son about that old. Billy also happens to be caucasian, living in an area of St. Louis right along the border of a racial divide. As he starts to work in a restaurant as a busboy, the bulk of his co-workers are either homosexual or African-American.
The story deals on many levels - Billy's parents and their various dealings with how they are bailing out on their ideals when they have Billy switch schools at the beginning of the story; with the development of AIDS; with race relations; and other themes as well. And Stolar does an excellent job of blending all of these elements into one cohesive tale that is interesting for the reader without spinning out of control in any of the various directions he's set forward. It's truly a great effort and I look forward to getting to the other seven stories in the collection in the future.