Generosity up on The Museum of Americana

My story Generosity is up on the museum of americana. I wrote this story some years ago, after attending an event, dedicated to Brazilian literature. Hearing the questions the visiting writers were being asked set my imagination reeling.

“The two Russian writers were young—billed as under forty—but in the month of touring the United States, they’d acquired heft and world-weariness. Seven days a week they answered questions: What does new Russian writing offer readers in the United States? and Do you see yourself continuing the great Russian novel tradition? . . .”

Continue reading here.

 

Sick Babies out in Confrontation

My story “Sick Babies” is out in Confrontation. Here’s the opening:

The baby’s sick. The mom brings him to the park every day, in late afternoons, and he sits limp in his stroller, dazed, unsmiling, eyes expressionless, pupils without any depth. The mom doesn’t seem to be aware of his condition. “Say hi to the gentlemen, Jacob,” she directs, rolling the stroller by the bench where we’re playing checkers. The baby doesn’t bat an eyelid. “He’s a little sleepy,” the mother apologizes. “It’s the weather we’ve been having.”

This afternoon, she parked the stroller right beside us, dropped her tattered backpack on a bench on the other side of the path, and took out a pack of cigarettes. She lifted the canvas canopy over the baby’s head, as though this were protection enough, and smoked one cigarette after another in rapid succession. We averted our noses, but, luckily, the wind blew the smoke in a different direction. True, some of us used to smoke in our youth, but it’s been long since that we’ve kicked the habit. The woman’s entire person showed signs of wear: unwashed hair going gray at the roots, tattoos on her arms looking ashen and flaccid, countless runs in the black hose. The baby stared right at us with his unseeing eyes.

Among ourselves, we’re convinced that the baby’s autistic, or worse. “Shouldn’t he be in some kind of an institution?” we debate.

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Essay on Electric Literature

My essay about a trip to Spain, motherhood, Seville sculptor Anna Jonsson and Spanish suffragist Clara Campoamor is up on Electric Literature. Here’s the opening:

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My husband, baby, and I were on vacation in Andalusia. The thirteen month-old napped in the car while we drove to the next destination, the historical city center of Seville, then put him into a pack and tried to take in a site or two. We needed food. A recent rain had emptied most outdoor tables. We dove inside a restaurant on the Plaza de la Pescadería. The baby refused to stay put. He couldn’t yet walk, and his attempts at crawling his way across dirty floors to cobblestone squares made me nervous. I gulped down my meal, and, while my husband ate, carried the baby to a window. A few neighborhood kids were chasing a ball through the puddles. Baby was mesmerized — for five whole minutes.

Soccer. My eyes rested on the ball, tracing its movements. The kids pushed it between the empty café tables, using two of them as goalposts. One team took charge and ran the ball toward the pedestal of a small statue….

Read the rest of the piece here.

Interview in a Russian journal

Интервью брал Сергей Князев для журнала “Питербук”:

Недавно в московском издательстве «Время» вышел сборник рассказов Ольги Гренец «Хлоп-страна». Как и две предыдущих книги, вышедших в петербургских издательствах, — «Кофе Inn» и «Ключи от потерянного дома» — это переводы с английского, несмотря на то, что Ольга — уроженка Ленинграда и, по своим собственным словам, заочно училась писать у Лидии Корнеевны Чуковской и Михаила Булгакова. В интервью русская писательница, живущая в Сан-Франциско и сочиняющая на английском говорит о своем третьем сборнике рассказов «Хлоп-страна», разнице между русским и американским Сэлинджером и правилах создания текста, которые можно не соблюдать.

— У вас вышла уже третья книга рассказов. Почему именно рассказы, ведь считается, что популярностью у публики и издателей пользуются главным образом романы?

— Когда я только начинала писать, трудно было бороться со своим внутренним критиком. Напишешь предложение, думаешь: так уже тысячу раз писали, надо по-другому…

Продолжение тут.

Infestation

bedroom

Lying in bed on Saturday night, her eyes closed in the imperfect darkness of the room, her limbs cooling from the day’s chores, Marcie felt a crawling sensation on her right arm, the one outside the blanket. Something crept from her shoulder down to her wrist and then jumped to her belly.

Marcie was lying on her left side, hugging the body pillow in a way that felt comfortable in the thirty-second week of pregnancy. The squash-sized creature inside her belly was still asleep, but the longer she stayed horizontal, the sooner it would be waking up. Marcie needed to get her sleep as efficiently as possible.

The sheet, covering her belly, moved. ….

read the rest of the story in World Literature Today’s January issue.