Monday, May 2, 2011

NOÖ Knows Stories #2: Guest Post by Christy Crutchfield

"Short stories assigned in high school:
·      Came from heavy textbooks with bodies of water on the cover.
·      Were often simple translations of fables and always had a definite moral.
·      Provided good examples of metaphor.
·      Provided characters that served the larger moral and did little else.
·      Were unobtrusive and politely agreed with my Catholic school.
·      Came with a lot of response questions.

I was not a reader. 

Then, Ms. McPherson assigned “Parker’s Back.”  At sixteen, I couldn’t articulate why I loved it, why I then chose to read the entire book, even the unassigned stories. 

I’ll try now:
·      The good guy wasn’t a good guy, and I was rooting for him.
·      Characters were spiteful, proud, wrong, and hungry.
·      This hunger had nothing to do with a quest to kill a monster.  I understood this hunger.
·      Love was possibly not love and not easily won, even after a quest.
·      There was metaphor, religious moral, but these were as complicated as the characters, complicated like my religion teachers were pretending Christianity wasn’t.
·      It was difficult.
·      At sixteen, my description of O’Connor’s language was: “Wow.  Yes.” 

This is still my description." — Christy Crutchfield, associate editor of Keyhole

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