Has a stunning surprise or lucky encounter ever propelled you in an unanticipated direction? Are you doing what you always thought you would be doing with your life or has some unseen magnetism changed your course? And has that redirection come to seem inevitable? Edie Meidav and Emmalie Dropkin asked leading contemporary writers to consider these questions, which they characterize through the metaphor of "the strange attractor," a scientific theory describing an inevitable occurrence that arises out of chaos. Meidav's introduction and the thirty-five pieces collected here offer imaginative, arresting, and memorable replies to this query, including guidance from a yellow fish, a typewriter repairman, a cat, a moose, a bicycle, and a stranger on a train. Absorbing and provocative, this is nonfiction to be read in batches and bursts and returned to again and again.
|Publisher:||University of Massachusetts Press|
|Product dimensions:||5.90(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.80(d)|
|Age Range:||18 Years|
About the Author
EDIE MEIDAV is the author of Lola, California, Kingdom of the Young, Crawl Space, and other work, and believes in the luck that brought this book to your attention. She teaches in the MFA program for poets and writers at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. For more information, visit www.ediemeidav.com.
EMMALIE DROPKIN's short story, "A Lamentation of Swans," was nominated for the PEN/Robert J. Dau Short Story Prize for Emerging Writers.
Table of Contents
Introduction On Strange Attraction Edie Meidav 1
A Certain Devotion-Pamela Thompson 11
Double Exposure-Rebecca Bell-Gurwitz 19
Chain of Tools-Kris Brandenburger 27
The Unclimbable-Danica Novgorodoff 32
Children and All That Jazz-Liesl Schillinger 37
Cake-Jenni Quilter 55
Mr. Rochester and Mr. Matthiessen: On Mentors (and Romantic Confusion)-Sharon Guskin 66
In a Woman's Kingdom-Sheila Kohler 72
Stanley Adelmam Magician of Typewriters-Thaisa Frank 85
What Do You Want from Me, Life?-Debbie DeFord-Minerva 90
Fractal Cats-Judy Grahn 97
Rumination in Three Parts-Noy Holland 111
Conspirators-R. O. Kwon 115
The Only Other Person in the World-Rebecca Wolff 121
On Mothers, Lovers, and Other Rivals-Ana Castillo 129
Ring Theory-Sejal Shah 145
The Unfounded: A Nectar Guide in Names-Laynie Browne 151
A Season of Sophistication-Bonnie Friedman 158
Leap-Sarah Ladipo Manyika 173
The Life of Stuff-Heather Sheehan 176
After Smithson-Clarinda MacLow 184
My Magdalene: Divinity and Desire-Dale Kushner 189
Fetish for Complicity-Sonia Feigelson 197
The Line-Melinda Misuraca 205
All about love, nearly-Andrea Scrima 217
Fortuneteller-Terese Svoboda 227
Yonder-Rachel Cole Dalamangas 230
On Serendipity-Indira Ganesan 235
Cups (A Dream) -Rikki Ducornet 240
Coyote on Holy Mesa-Quintan Ana Wikswo 245
Weaning, a Love Story-Elizabeth Rosner 256
Watchfires-Hilary Plum 260
Breaking Down-Donna Ford 272
(Rifle, Morphine)-Carolyn Cooke 276
Afternoon and After-Debra Jo Immergut 281
What People are Saying About This
Chance -- the charm of chance -- that permeates these stories is startling, often dazzling, and always life-affirming. You'll wish most of these talented women writers were your friends.
A wonderful book, unique in all ways, truly and deeply full of wonder.What a stunning constellation of seekers, believers, wanderers, questioners. A collective spiritual autobiography like nothing I've read before.
Strange Attractors reminds us that even chaos has a pattern, and now more than ever, we are grateful for it. Attraction is evidence of the sublime. The very idea sparks revelation.
Urgent and reflective, infused with a revelatory grace,Strange Attractorsis a wondering wander of a book, a curiosity shop of stories filled with surprise and clarity, longing and transformation. Lyrical, experimental, or conversational, this collection's voices explore encounters that change the course of our lives.