This Angel on My Chest

This Angel on My Chest

by Leslie Pietrzyk


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This Angel on My Chest by Leslie Pietrzyk

Selected by Jill McCorkle

This Angel on My Chest is a collection of unconventionally linked stories, each about a different young woman whose husband dies suddenly and unexpectedly. Ranging from traditional stories to lists, a quiz, a YouTube link, and even a lecture about creative writing, the stories grasp to put into words the ways in which we all cope with unspeakable loss.
Based on the author’s own experience of losing her husband at age thirty-seven, this book explores the resulting grief, fury, and bewilderment, mirroring the obsessive nature of grieving. The stories examine the universal issues we face at a time of loss,  as well as the specific concerns of a young widow: support groups, in-laws, insurance money, dating, and remarriage. This Angel on My Chest ultimately asks, how is it possible to move forward with life while “till death do you part” rings in your ears—and, how is it possible not to?

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780822964452
Publisher: University of Pittsburgh Press
Publication date: 03/17/2017
Series: Drue Heinz Literature Prize Series
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 224
Sales rank: 802,426
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Leslie Pietrzyk is the author of two novels, Pears on a Willow Tree and A Year and a Day. Her short fiction and essays have appeared in many journals, including Gettysburg Review, The Sun, Shenandoah, River Styx, Iowa Review, TriQuarterly, New England Review, and the Washington Post Magazine. She has received fellowships from the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference and the Sewanee Writers’ Conference. Pietrzyk is a member of the core fiction faculty at the Converse low-residency MFA program and teaches in the MA Program in Writing at Johns Hopkins University. She lives in Alexandria, Virginia.

Table of Contents

Ten Things 1

Acquiescence 16

A Quiz 19

Heat 32

In a Dream 33

One Art 49

Do You Believe in Ghosts? 54

Slut 79

I Am the Widow 98

One True Thing 104

Someone in Nebraska 142

What I Could Buy 147

Truth-Telling for Adults 151

Chapter Ten: An Index of Food (Draft) 168

The Circle 181

Present Tense 210

Acknowledgments 215

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