Motherhood, Monkeys, and Morality

I published a short story, “The Neighborhood,” in Granta last month, and they asked me to write an essay about the story for their “First Sentence” series. The first sentence of the story is “The wire children move independently and have recognizable faces.” Read the story “The Neighborhood” here, and read the “First Sentence” essay here.

The story was heavily influenced by Harry Harlow’s disturbing experiments with baby primates. Listen to the radio show on which I first learned about these experiments here. (This American Life, Episode 317, “Unconditional Love.”)

And check out Lauren Slater’s book Opening Skinner’s Box, which has a chapter dedicated to Harlow here. Then read the rest of her book and write a story based on a psychological experiment!


Gingerbread House LitMag

I just had recommended to me this literary journal, Gingerbread House, which looks wonderful. Check it out! From their submission guidelines:

The Gingerbread House staff is dedicated to publishing quality poetry & fiction with a magical element.  Take your fairy tale and twist it.  Bend your fantasy to suit your needs.  Be original and fresh, loose and lovely.

What we  want:  Stories that we’ve never seen before.  No fan fiction of any sort.  No sword & sorcery.  Retellings are fine, but should offer a new spin.  We’re not particularly into sci-fi. Our favorite writing is along the lines of Aimee Bender, Steven Millhauser, Alice Hoffman, Karen Joy Fowler.  We lean toward the literary, but are open to anything well written.