Introduction

For quite a time, if asked, I would say that I disliked short fiction, qualifying my answer with an acknowledgement of the special qualities of certain short stories that embraced the everyday through obliqueness and elision. This wasn’t an entirely honest response, but easier than the admission that it isn’t the form of the short story that makes me apprehensive, but that I don’t really like stories. That isn’t quite true either, but short fiction often makes transparent the scaffolding of fiction that I’ve come to distrust, especially the self-deception of character and the tensions of plot. Nor do I care much for those meticulous, well-crafted sentences that are merely aesthetically pleasing and intelligent. I am drawn most to a writer’s voice, to shape and movements that expose the beauty of another mind, to writing that is hazardous to identity and composure.

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