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A Conversation With PEN America Best Debut Short Stories 2019 Author Sarah Curry
“I slowly connected the dots that nearly all my friends—no matter what continent we had been on—had experienced some level of sexual violence.”
Nimrod International Journal
Nimrod International Journal.
You didn’t know me then.
We were all girls, about the same size, no more than 5’3” and under 115 pounds, but that fall back on campus from study abroad we walked like we were men, nearly 6’1” and 200 pounds with a bum knee. Arms flexed and at our sides. We wanted to look like a stuffed gorilla won at a carnival by slinging little wooden balls as hard as you can at glass milk bottles. We walked as though we had sledgehammers affixed to our shoulders, and our names were Ricky.
You know, Ricky the mechanic. Ricky the prizefighter (or was that Rocky?). Ricky the uncle who belches the alphabet.
It was a joke. Sort of.
We met at a “survivors” group potluck where a bunch of female college students took dainty nervous bites of cupcakes and later cried as they told their stories. Except us. One after the other we left as a circle massage started to form, pretending we had to pee or had an emergency text. We met outside and called bullshit on “survival.” We didn’t even exchange names. We headed to the closest apartment and drank ourselves silly. Or should I say serious?
Working on my senior thesis over breakSki trip with friends!! Barely a signal!
The Bones of Stars
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“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.”
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“My focus was on the character and emotions of the immigrant: the loneliness, the sense of loss and disconnection.”
“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 think so much art—especially cinema—acts as an instruction manual for women.”