Saturday, May 30, 2009

Coetzee's Waiting for the Barbarians

"I am not surprised by what they are doing. I know very well the weight that insinuations and nuances can be made to bear or how a question can be asked in such a way as to dictate its answer. They will use the law against me as far as it serves them, then they will turn to other methods. That is the Bureau's way. To people who do not operate under statute, legal process is simply one instrument among many."

"No matter if I told my interrogators the truth, recounted every word I uttered on my visit to the barbarians, no matter even if they were tempted to believe me, they would press on with their grim business, for it is an article of faith with them that the last truth is told only in the last extremity."

-From Waiting for the Barbarians, J.M. Coetzee, 1980

Monday, May 18, 2009

sending pages

Off goes a full manuscript of REMEDY WHEEL to an agent who liked the partial. Fingers crossed. And the request comes only hours before I'd planned to pack up the computer and printer for Wednesday's move.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

"Put on the Petty" wins a Pushcart

I learned tonight that my essay, "Put on the Petty," published in the Spring 2008 issue of The Missouri Review, has been awarded a 2009 Pushcart Prize. It's a huge honor and particularly gratifying given the circumstances of that piece. I have to thank Speer Morgan, whose amazing edits created resonance and meaning I didn't know was possible, and my friends Jeff Doty, Kristen Keckler, Lee Martin, and others who helped me shape the story. And to Scott Blair, also a close friend of Eric's, who encouraged me to keep writing and to submit it, even before he'd read it, because he said he knew it was the right thing to do. Thanks, everybody.