Self’s idol! Ever since self read her story “Stone Animals” in Best American Short Stories (2005?)
When self found out that Kelly Link was reading at the Cork International Short Story Festival, she became immensely excited and determined. So off she went to the Triskel Art Centre, and did she ever make the right choice or what? Never mind that it was cold, that she’d just had a humongous dinner, and she just wanted to veg out in her room. No, self! Get your shit together!
Even though self swore, swore she would not buy a single book (Her arms are so sore from lifting: she’s taken at least 4 trains in eight days), she did buy Kelly’s just-published Get In Trouble: Stories (blurbed by none other than Sarah Waters, who calls it, quote unquote, A brilliant, giddying read.). Kelly wrote this on self’s copy:
For Marianne: Here are some terrible ideas. Love, K D Link.
BWAH. HA. HA. HA!!!
When, after the reading, self went up with the book of Kelly’s short stories encased within her trembling hands (The use of hyperbole would not be completely unwarranted in this situation), Kelly was speaking to a very enthusiastic Irish lad. Self waited patiently.
Then, before signing self’s book, Kelly asked for self’s name.
Self demurred, saying, Oh you’ve never heard of me.
(Self! YOU IDIOT! QUIT MUMBLING!)
Finally, Kelly managed to worm it out of self. Whereupon Kelly said, with great sincerity, “I think I’ve heard of you.”
In response to which self said, “No you’ve never heard of me. I’m so small press, I’m not even.”
Anyhoo, here’s an excerpt from “The Summer People,” the first story in Kelly Link’s collection:
- Fran had the flu, except it was more like the flu had Fran. In consequence of this, she’d laid out of school for three days in a row. The previous night, she’d taken four NyQuil caplets and gone to sleep on the couch while a man on the TV threw knives.
Unf. Self just loves the unexpectedness of the last sentence.
Plan for tonight: meeting up with playwright Barbara Guilfoyle. Going to hear Jaime Nanci Barron sing.
Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.