I’ve spent June reading manuscripts as a guest consultant for Black Lawrence Press, and as the month winds down, I’m reminded of how rewarding and enjoyable this work is. I love getting to know people through their writing, living with their books and characters for days or weeks at time, and analyzing how their manuscripts are put together and what revisions might open up even more doors–either to versions of the existing project, or to connected pieces that might become a whole (other) book! Summer is a great time for me to pour my heart into this kind of work, so if you have a story, essay, chapbook, collection, novel, or memoir that you’d like a new perspective on, check out my editing/consulting page. I’d love to take on more projects in the near future!
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!