“Are these stories autobiographical or fiction?” the author is asked.
“Yes,” she says.
Life does not provide perfect plots and all the cool characters you need if you hope to hook a reader—but imagination stitched to scraps of experience and observation can create a patchwork quilt called fiction. The stories follow the Law of the Imagination: Tell the truth and the lies take care of themselves. Any links that a reader may invent are reasonable even if not true.
A teenage daughter enduring a home perm... a saleswoman coveting a thin gold chain… a woman seeing off her college-bound son and visiting parents all on the same day... In this collection of exquisitely nuanced stories, it isn’t so much what is said, but what is left unspoken that gives Powell’s work such emotional complexity and firepower. Proof positive that a good story is “truer than the truth.”
— Joni B. Cole , author of Toxic Feedback: Helping Writers Survive and Thrive
What did you like best about this book? This book is filled with extraordinary characters and diverse plotting. I eagerly read through it while wondering what next the book held in store for me. I believe its strength, aside from the excellent writing skills, lies in the way you captured the essence of our lives. I identified with so many of the chapters, saying to myself, yes, that's the way it is, that's what happened, that's how I felt. I particularly liked Scenes with a View that captures the young daughter moving into her first place and the parents' discomfort with it. I remember how vulnerable I felt at that time. How hard I tried to make my place perfect, or at least good enough to gain my parents' approval.
How can the author improve this book? It would be difficult to say how you could improve this book. I thought the writing was superb, characterization the same, and the stories tugged at my heart. I cried at the end. Tears fill my eyes even as I write these words. Congratulations on a lovely book. If you are not a winner this year, it is because there are so many excellent entries.
Enid Levinger Powell has been writing more years than she wants you to know, resulting in the publication of stories, poems, and humorous essays in literary and popular magazines and newspapers. Along the way, she’s won a couple of fiction prizes and a poetry prize, worth mentioning but not bragging about. She is a founding editor of StoryQuarterly. She has taught writing classes at Loyola University and Columbia College, and currently holds seminars at Newberry Library, and private classes in her home in Chicago, Illinois.
All my questions are being answer. Wrote well and understandable.