Words

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The Green Fairy


“The Green Fairy” is a short story forthcoming in Sonora Review, Issue 73.

The story is an excerpt from my novel A HISTORY OF INDECENT BEHAVIOR beginning in 1939 Paris, when Carmen “Kit” Gaudin turns eighteen and becomes a dancer at the Moulin Rouge. This multigenerational family novel follows the showgirl descendants of Rosa la Rouge, muse of French painter Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, as they journey from wartime Paris, to midcentury Las Vegas, to the contemporary New York art scene in their struggle for intimacy and survival.

Third-generation cancan dancer Kit wants nothing more than to escape the Moulin Rouge and make a better life for her family. Her daughter Vanguard likewise desires escape—from a secret teenaged pregnancy and adoption she hides at the cost of her closest relationships. Twenty-five-year-old Tisha fights for control of her own life as she seeks to understand her family’s estrangement in hopes of reuniting them before time runs out. What is indecent behavior? The novel explores this question, in terms of love and how we relate to one another as human beings.

A HISTORY OF INDECENT BEHAVIOR was a semi-finalist for the Royal Palm Literary Award, and is supported by a novel writing grant from Wedgwood Circle.

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Junkfood Activism: How Stepford Became Shorthand for a Certain Kind of Woman


“Retroview” review of Ira Levin’s The Stepford Wives (1972) forthcoming in Pleiades, Issue 16.1.

Novelist and playwright Ira Levin was a pioneer of the horror genre. How did his slim novel about suburban housewives become the enduring cultural touchstone that catapulted stepford into the English lexicon? I explore this question, and why the answer is still relevant almost fifty years later.

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Flower pepper


“Flower Pepper” is a short story about a young Chinese woman suffering Reactive Attachment Disorder after her adoption into an American family. The story was a finalist for the Bellingham Review Tobias Wolff Award for Fiction, and the Ruminate Magazine William Van Dyke Short Story Prize. It was also awarded a fellowship from Abroad Writers Conference in a contest judged by Pulitzer Prize winner Robert Olen Butler.

 
 

Art Credit:
Accompanying "The Green Fairy": At the Moulin Rouge, The Danceby Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec
Accompanying "Flower Pepper": Serenity by Denise Kirsop