‘Scropton, Sudbury, Marchington, Uttoxeter’ by Jessie Greengrass

“My parents were grocers.” Ten down, two to go. So many wonderful writers, so many wonderful stories, I now realize, that are not going to make the cut. Such as it is. But consider this, and while we’re on the subject of regret: Jessie Greengrass’s last story in her first collection, about a woman (I think) recalling her parents, and paying their old haunt (singular) a visit. Am I going to cling to Jessie’s coattails, too, as well as M. John’s? Yes, I think I am. Ms Greengrass was once a member of a small outfit called the Brautigan Book Club, as was I. It was fun, you might say, hearing people enthuse about Richard Brautigan. But here we are, and Jesse is a superb short writer and I’m . . . OK. Never mind.

From An Account of the Decline of the Great Auk, According to One Who Saw It, JM Originals, 2015

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