As a subscriber to Hobart, I recieved a litte gift package, which included matches (thanks, I have yet to open up that box of nicotine patches I bought in September), a cute little coaster, and a “special sneak-peek chap for subscribers” of Big World by Mary Miller. Big World will be out this year by Hobart’s Book Division, Short Flight/Long Drive Books. The mini-chapbook has two stories in it: “Fast Trains” and “Even The Interstate Is Pretty“. The stories are very good. Very, very good. They also happen to be very much to my taste, as well as what I often try to do as a writer. After reading them, I went online and read most everything I could find of hers there. I loved her flash works on Storyglossia, which you can read here, or here.
I also read a great interview with her by the great Kelly Spitzer (who deserves her own htmlgiant piece, note to self), where she says something that explains the genuis of her work:
Humans are so complicated and damaged and I love them so much.
I love the simple brilliance of that statement. I love the truth of it. She has a collection of flash fiction out my Magic Helicopter Press which I now must purchase. One of you dudes, or other ladies who may like ladies, should write a WILF piece on her – she’s super lovely. Also, I like how her narrators often know they are beautiful, but it doesn’t help them in any way. I love the way something core in her work hints at the essential mystery that is our human existence and how she gets at what lurks underneath the minutia of our daily lives during our short time on this planet. I am, without a doubt, profoundly envious of her work: I wish it were mine. That said, I can still enjoy it. I’ll leave you with the opening paragraph to “Even the Interstate is Pretty”:
My sister is inside watching a movie and bleeding. I don’t bleed anymore. It’s not something I thought I’d miss. My mother refers to the whole situation as my apparatus. When I’m quiet she ask if it’s because of my apparatus, and sometimes, in the middle of a conversation, she’ll put her hand on my arm and say, just because you don’t have your apparatus doesn’t mean you’re not a woman.