I knew Alison Moore as the author of a short story collection and two novels, one about the Orphan Train – a train that took unaccompanied children to homesteads when the American West was settled; many of the children never saw their home towns or siblings again. When I turned up in England, I was surprised to find another Alison Moore, celebrated for writing about quite different themes. The short story by US-based Alison Moore that has haunted me over the years is a story about a twelve year old girl named Matty who runs away to New York with a boy she has a crush on. Knowing all the dangers she faces, you hold your breath as she describes their journey. When the thing that you most feared happens, you lose your breath entirely – the adventure is devoured by an emotional violence that Matty will never speak about and will never fully recover from.
From Small Spaces Between Emergencies (Mercury House). You can find Alison Moore’s website here