Sunday, June 1, 2008

On "The Harvest" by Amy Hemphill (1927 words) *****

This classic story, which appears in Hemphill's second collection and first appeared in The Quarterly, is available online for everyone's perusal via Pif. What makes Hemphill's writing so amazing is how much she manages to get out of her sparse use of language. Read a story three times longer, and you'll almost certainly get less than what you'll get here. How does she do it? I'm not quite sure--lots of details help, and unique ones at that, but one feels after reading Hemphill's fiction that another eight thousand words were left in a previous draft somewhere and all for the better. This story revolves around an accident, but really it's about "harvesting," about where writers get their stories. Read it here.

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