“Black as the Sea” in Arts & Letters #25
One of the secret thrills of being published is seeing your work alongside that of other writers whom you adore. Last year my story “Burning Down Wal-Mart” appeared in the same issue of Washington Square as Charles Simic and C.K. Williams, and I took so much joy from that – the excitement of feeling like I’d earned the right, however briefly and insignificantly, to stand in the same light.
The new issue of Arts & Letters, which contains my story “Black as the Sea,” also contains some poems by Donald Hall – one of my very favorites. In fact, my story is positioned right next to his stuff.
I’m really proud of this story – told by a little Jewish boy during the Odessa Pogrom of 1905, a sort of meta-Isaak-Babel piece, if Babel was writing with a full knowledge of all the horrors that the Soviet 30s and 40s would bring, instead of the more abstract feeling of dread and joyful resignation that makes his work so unique and exciting.
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