Okay, it's established: I'm not a blogger. Some people blog and then pull together a newsletter from their blog posts. I don't do that. I put together a newsletter. Maybe now I need to take info from the newsletter and put it on this so-called "blog." It's a thought. The more time that goes by between posting something here on this news page/blog, the less I feel like changing that, which would seem to imply that I spend time thinking about this, when in fact, I don't.
In any case, here's something that needs sharing, and seems to insist on its own dedicated space. Yesterday, Tupelo Quarterly launched its first issue, and I'm proud to have my story "An Uncle" in it. The lit mag promises to be fabulous, with Jessamyn Smith as editor and Elizabeth Eslami as senior prose editor. This is TQ's foray into prose, and I'm thrilled to have been asked to contribute something.
Happier still, to have Elizabeth Eslami's comments about my story, which appeared on the TQ Facebook page today. She's a fine writer and astute editor, and that makes her remarks all the dearer. Here's what she said:
I love this story…Where “An Uncle” succeeds, for me, is voice, which is so hard to pull off and which she does so beautifully. And that’s where this story has to live or die, because…nothing much happens except the cracking open of a window into this girl’s life. She’s clearly at a transitional age, and Peg nails that shift, from a narrator who slaps Barbies against her sister’s arms to one who lets her mind go there, romanticizing that uncle who isn’t so much older than she is. Antonya Nelson writes about making the most of transitional ages, not only capitalizing on their “built-in” associations – first periods, dating, sex – but especially working against those associations, and damned if Peg doesn’t do that. There are a million ways she could have been predictable here, but she isn’t. What is real is a pre-teen who at once doubts she’ll be able to learn those dances but who also has the maturity and prescience to simply smile with the hope that Uncle Lew will see her, that something like a smile will shape how he sees her. …I truly think this is one of our best stories, one that I’m proud to publish in the first issue.
"One of our best stories," she says. Thanks so much to Liz, Jessamyn, and TQ. I'm inordinately fond of this story, for reasons I don't care to analyze, and so happy that it's had some readers.