I almost didn’t include this. So much has been said about it already, but this is a personal anthology. In October 2014, when this was published, I was heavily pregnant with my first child. I saw the story being passed around and praised but I knew from the title that I wouldn’t be able to handle it. It was a good decision. When I did read it, maybe a year later I cried, I cringed, I drew breath. I remember swearing and thinking – this is what writing can do. None of this should work – the weaving in and out of stories and times, the interruptions directing or addressing the reader, the melding of fairy tale with realism. But it does. And it’s perfect.
first published in Granta, October 2014, collected in Her Body and Other Stories, Graywolf Press, 2017, and available to read online here