As part of our mission to promote authors, the joy of reading, and to better understand the craft of writing, we’ve paired with the The Norwich Bookstore in Norwich, Vermont to present an ongoing series entitled “3 Questions”.
In it, we pose three questions to authors with upcoming visits to the bookstore. Their responses are posted on The Book Jam during the days leading up to their engagement. Our hope is that this exchange will offer insight into their work and will encourage readers to both attend these special author events and read their books.
Today, we feature Victoria Fish author of A Brief Moment of Weightlessness, a collection of short stories. In addition to writing short stories, and blogging about life, Ms. Fish is pursuing her Masters of Social Work. Her stories have appeared in numerous literary magazines, including Hunger Mountain, Slow Trains, Wild River Review, and Literary Mama. She lives with her husband and three boys in our hometown in Vermont. A Brief Moment of Weightlessness is her first published book.
Ms. Fish will appear at the Norwich Bookstore at 7 pm on Wednesday, June 25th to discuss her book and her work. Reservations are recommended. Call 802-649-1114 or email email@example.com to reserve your seat. We have heard it is close to “selling out” so call soon.
1. What three books have helped shape you into the author you are today, and why?
The Summer of My German Soldier, by Bette Green. My Antonia, by Willa Cather. Angle of Repose, by Wallace Stegner. All three of these books took me beyond my known world, while at the same time, almost miraculously, connected me with my own experiences of joy and wonder and loss. Books like these that both create a sense of yearning and a sense of finding make me want to write.
2. What author (living or dead) would you most like to have a cup of coffee with and why?
Mary Ladd Gavell, the author of I Cannot Tell A Lie Exactly. Gavell died at the age of 47, having only published one story. That story, posthumously, was chosen by John Updike as one of the Best Short Stories of the Century, and, after that her children published a book of her stories. She writes about motherhood (and other topics) with understated poignancy, honesty and wit. There is one story called “The Swing” about a mother who imagines that her son, now in his 30’s, visits the backyard at night as a 6 year old boy again. I cannot get through that story without crying, every time, sideswiped anew with how she writes with such simplicity and power about intangible loss. I want to ask her, how did she do it? What else would she have written if she hadn’t died?
3. What books are currently on your bedside table?
Mrs. Somebody Somebody, stories by Tracy Winn. Runaway, stories by Alice Munro. Red Bird: Poems, poems by Mary Oliver. I have read all three, but I always keep a few books like this to dip into again and again, words I know will satisfy me.