Academic by day, fiction writer by night, and vice versa
Monday, January 11, 2010
I requested--as I do with all required texts for the courses I teach--a desk copy of Lorrie Moore's short story collection Birds of America, which I am teaching in my Advanced Fiction Workshop this semester. I received instead Birds of North America: A Guide to Field Identification. While an obvious mistake, I am not unhappy. In fact, now I wish I had selected the latter as a required text in my course. A whole semester writing fiction about birds? Why not? My students' short fiction would receive a boost. Instead of the banal,
I stared out my window and reflected on my mother's suicide, watching the birds circle above the tree tops.
they could write,
I stared out my window and reflected on my mother's suicide, watching the ruby-crowned kinglets circle above the tree tops.