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Introducing our longlisted authors: Catherine Lacey

Catherine Lacey (c) Willy Soma.jpgView larger
Catherine Lacey. Photograph by Willy Soma

Meet the authors longlisted for the 2020 Sunday Times Audible Short Story Award

Introducing our longlisted authors: Catherine Lacey

Catherine Lacey is the author of three novels, Nobody is Ever Missing, The Answers, and Pew, as well as the story collection, Certain American States. Her books has been translated into Italian, French, German, Hebrew, Danish, Dutch, and Spanish. She is a recipient of a Whiting Award, a Guggenheim fellowship, was a finalist for the New York Public Library Young Lions Fiction Award, and named one of Granta Magazine’s Best Young American Novelists in 2017. Her short fiction has been published in The New Yorker, Harper’s Magazine, Playboy, Virginia Quarterly, and elsewhere. Born in Mississippi, she is now based in Chicago with her partner, the novelist Jesse Ball.

She is longlisted for the story: Cut

A woman finds an unexplained cut on her body which she cannot explain or get help for. It gradually worsens, becoming more painful and extreme while her day-to-day experiences become more surreal. Is it real or imagined? What is the cut? This wry and wise story explores a sense of loneliness, helplessness, social expectation and pressures in ordinary lives – whether the unexpected happens or not.

What inspired you to write the story?

The variety of pressures put upon women in the 21st century.

Is it drawn from personal experience?

No and yes.

How does writing short stories differ from writing full-length fiction, and what do you enjoy about writing in the genre?

Short stories require agility and novels require near insanity.

How do you write? Longhand or typed? Why does your chosen method work for you?

It’s all a blur. I feel confused, then it’s over.

Which short story collection by another author would you recommend?

Any of collections by Lydia Davis, Mary Gaitskill, or Robert Walser.

What are you reading now?

Abigail by Magda Szabo

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