More in this series
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
“Every interaction between adult siblings presents a chance to get more clarity about the past. Hopefully, we’re able to seize at least some of these chances.”
“I wrote much of the story listening to jazz, including the title song, for inspiration on how to shift without imposing too much of a structure.”
“I wanted to portray the pain of trying to reach someone who is inside their own, unreachable pain, and how this often puts untenable pressure on relationships.”
More in this series
“I love that our stories are beginning to get the attention they deserve, but that’s not enough for me. I want more.”
“For me, I guess fairytales are where I am simultaneously most at home, and most at odds with the world around me.”
“I decided to subvert readers’ expectations in terms of the narrative of a diaspora visiting their homeland in order to challenge the myth that all those arriving home from the west are endowed with bags of cash.”