Dear A. Nicole Kelly,
Sincere thanks for sending us “Stay Like This Forever” for consideration for publication in The Missouri Review. This is a beautifully written story. You handle their relationship with nuance and depth. Even though ultimately the editors decided to pass on this particular piece, there’s no doubt it’ll be published soon.
If and when you have anything else ready, please submit to us again.
“For ages, artists have asked difficult questions about the human condition. It is their privilege to pursue such questions without needing to yield practical results. As individuals, and as a society, we can never really say we know everything. Society allows artists to explore what we don’t know in ways that are distinct from the approaches of science, religion and philosophy. As a result, art bears a unique responsibility in the search for truth.
…I think it is important for artists to see themselves as privileged, and to bear some responsibility, because their job is about communication and expression. These are the core values of life, of being individuals. Most people don’t realize that they have to fight for this, but for us artists it’s necessary.”
Here is what I have been saying for years: There are many things women can do as journalists and writers to pitch and target editors. But the change starts on our bookshelves. Nothing will change until men read women. Nothing will change until men go to panels where women are speaking and reading. And here’s the important part: Nothing will change until men want to read books by women about women’s lives, not only about Thomas Cromwell (no offense to the brilliant Hillary Mantel). Reading books about experiences that are different from ours, whether it’s people of a different race, nationality or gender — shouldn’t make us uncomfortable, but rather curious and excited to uncover those fabled kernels of common humanity beneath the surface.
Dear Nicole Kelly,
Thank you for your patience. We had a chance to read “American Girls Are Easy” this month, and while we are returning this piece, we would be interested in reading more of your work and encourage you to submit again when you have new work.
In the meantime, please join us on Twitter or visit our website (www.apublicspace.org) to keep in touch.
Thank you again for thinking of APS for “American Girls Are Easy.”
With very best wishes,
A Public Space
Maybe you’ve noticed - Skylight Books is a bookstore with a tree. Occasionally the leaves from the tree fall onto the bookshelves below. More frequently, it seems, the heavy shelves (which are on wheels) are moved away and tucked between other shelves and then chairs are brought in, and a microphone stand, and sometimes a folding table with snacks. Then people gather under the tree, which grows under a skylight, and listen to someone tell them a story.
That’s part of what makes Skylight Books an important place. There are a lot of other reasons but the Naked Bookseller must move on. If you work at a great bookstore, or are friends with one, tell us your story here. Thanks to Skylight Books and all of our book store partners
once upon time the person reading the story was me!