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PEN America Blog

October 1, 2014

She couldn’t help notice, when he paid up, that he had a good-sized wad of money in a red rubber band like the kind that holds bananas together in the supermarket. That roll helped. But what was more important, she had a feeling. The eggs were lucky. And he had a good-natured slowness about him that seemed different. He could be different, she thought.

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October 1, 2014

All of the cases that my father judged were nearly as small, as ridiculous, as petty. though a few were heartbreaking, or a combination of sad and idiotic, like that of Marilyn Shigaag, who stole five gas station hot dogs and ate them all in the gas station bathroom...

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October 1, 2014

"Athai, some boys called us Snickers. I don't mind. Snickers taste good, no?"

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October 1, 2014

Red sky on bad TV tonight / on furniture, on skin, / I’ll remember this like it was / yesterday somewhere else, / like I was another woman / who’d done time in a park / where pink repeating flowers were / birthed at the crowd...

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September 30, 2014

Writing about my family in a memoir was about as daring as it gets ... I was sure that when the book came out I was going to be ostracized not only by my family but by everyone I knew.

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September 30, 2014

In a great book, even the most despicable characters have a chance for redemption, perhaps, one might argue, more of a chance than he or she might get in real life.

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September 29, 2014

Books with any kind of diversity are disproportionately challenged versus books by and about straight white males.

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September 29, 2014

You are the ruin whose arm encircles the young woman / at the posthumous bar, before your death.

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September 29, 2014

We fill pre-existing forms and when we fill them we change them and are changed.

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September 29, 2014

—Is it bitter? Does her soul / tell her / that she was an idiot ever to think / anything / material wholly could satisfy?

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