I loved the brilliant short story collection Unkempt by Courtney Eldridge. And once I got used to her very unusual, distinct style, I loved it even more. In the hilarious "Fits and Starts," the narrator describes her writing process and more specifically, what happens to those imperfect first sentences; In "Sharks," the narrator meets with a friend hoping to take her swimming only to discover the friend is terrified of scientists experimenting with sharks in the public pools. What makes this story so funny is the fact that Eldridge knows so well the infinite answers the neurotic mind will provide to support its fear; in "Summer of Mopeds," the narrator recalls a painful childhood memory; a food-adict makes herself a phone pest in "Becky;" And the last in the collection, the novella "The Former World Record Holder Settles Down," is nothing short of brilliant. Eldridge uses first person narration to its fullest advantage showing the reader the narrator's denial and painful process of moving beyond a past that holds her prisoner.
- Originally from Vermont, I now live in North Carolina. My work can be found in recent issues of REAL: Regarding Arts and Letters, The Jabberwock Review, The Emerson Review, Storyglossia, The MacGuffin, Confrontation, Passages North, SmokeLong Quarterly, elimae, wigleaf, and Pank, among others, and forthcoming from Gargoyle #57 and REAL: Regarding Arts and Letters. One of my stories has been translated into Farsi by Asadollah Amraee, and many others by Jalil Jafari, two of which have been published in the Iranian journal, Golestaneh Magazine. For two years I worked as an assistant editor for Narrative Magazine. Currently, I serve as a mentor for Dzanc's Creative Writing Sessions. I'm working on two novels and a short story collection. In May, I was awarded the Carol Houck Smith Contributor Scholarship for the 2011 Bread Loaf Writers' Conference.