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A Conversation With Best Debut Short Stories 2020 Author Ani Cooney
“Since March, how many have had to grow up fast and be valorous because of amoral, wicked, and cowardly leadership?”
You pulled your mother’s clothes inside out and wrote with a capital and a capital , respectively. In black ink, you wrote behind the wide belt loops, round and round the broad belt loops, until , the last name, met , and they read in infinity. You wrote the name on the fat waistline and inseams until it reached the leg openings. On the back and front pockets. . Behind the zipper of the fly. . Then you pulled the clothes back outside in, folded them, and placed them in a large box that you labeled .
You would find new owners for your mother’s clothes. They would find movement again in a large body the size of your mother’s. Wouldn’t that be nice? you thought as you pushed the box in the closet. Her clothes fitted around someone else’s jiggle.
Two weeks had already passed and you were coping. Your mother prepared you for a time like this, after all.
More by this author
Learn about Mathapelo Mofokeng’s short story “The Strong-Strong Winds,” which was selected for ‘Best Debut Short Stories 2021.’
“The most innocent thing you can do is want to create”: Robert J. Dau Prize Winner Isaac Hughes Green
Learn about Isaac Hughes Green’s short story “The First Time I Said It,” which was selected for ‘Best Debut Short Stories 2021.’
Learn about Amy Haejung’s short story “Maria,” which was selected for ‘Best Debut Short Stories 2021.’
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“I thought this exemplified two aspects of the Colombian spirit that interest and delight me: Any festive occasion can become an excuse to start a full-on party; and time is, as a manner of speaking, subjective.”
“I have always been fascinated by the idea of women being monstrous and beastly because it ruptures the dominant Patriarchal ideal of the shy woman.”
“The themes of social justice, the magic of water, and the power of queer love to create a different world—these are themes that I return to again and again in my writing and my life.”