Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Winner of the "Thalia" Flash Fiction Challenge: Patrick Nelson


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Again I had a hard time choosing which story I thought was “best.”  It’s kind of weird because as a professor I grade stuff all the time for classes and I really don’t have a hard time assigning grades to students.  In this instance, I don’t feel like I’m really choosing a best story but rather which one might fit in best with the overall theme of the image, the book and the show I have planned to exhibit the work.  For this reason I chose Patrick Nelson’s story.

I think the biggest reason why I chose his story because it was a kind of collage of texts, fonts, and ideas.  It was sort of a textual version of the image of Thalia.  Second, it was kind of creepy and shocking, especially with the obituary at the end.

I also struggled with the idea of a joint award.  Stephen Rogers and William Greene’s stories both really seemed about the same little girl and had sense of humor and a touch of angst.  I was compelled by the racial component of “Epicanthic Fold” I identified with how kids see stereotypes that kids and unwittingly believe in them.  Not to be too maudlin, but Greene’s story was very close to my own experience of my relationships with parents and the world.  I also loved that it read a little bit like one of Mark Helprin’s descriptions of characters in his novel “Winter’s Tale.”  It was prose but read like poetry.

As usual, I really dig Dee Turbon’s story!  Sometimes he seems to live in a “My Name is Earl” crossed with “To Kill a Mockingbird” world.  The idea of poetry of a sort of trailer park variety, early sensuality, drunken parents, was a bit creepy but also, I could really see it happening!

Read them all here:

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