Now that’s how you silence the rabble
“’People tend to be curious about me. It’s a curious thing. You’re not curious?’ She says: cyuh-yuss.
And here’s the thing: I am curious. I’m pretty fucking deep in already, if you want to know the truth. I’d really like to ask her something like: So is it that your vocal cords never split, or that they never met? Or maybe is that a doll’s dress, or why are your toes so long, or can you swim, or where do you keep your crackers, but I don’t want to ask a question that could be taken the wrong way. I’m beginning to doubt that Dorlene is the easy-to-offend type, but you just never know. ‘I guess I wouldn’t know what to ask you,’ I tell her.”
— From “Airbag,” by Ted Sanders
Editor’s Note — Katie Dublinski, Associate Publisher, Graywolf Press:
Ted Sanders’ debut collection, No Animals We Could Name, came to us through the Bakeless Prize, an annual contest organized by the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference that includes publication by Graywolf. The collection, which includes “Airbag,” was selected by Stacey D’Erasmo, who said, “Ted Sanders is a fearless, wild, tremendously sensitive writer, who seems to write not only about the three dimensions of the world we live in, but also about the fourth, the fifth, and the sixth.”
“Airbag” showcases the powerful and unique imagination at work in all of the stories collected in No Animals We Could Name. What I love about the book is that every story shows me the world from an odd new angle. Sometimes that can be uncomfortable — there are certainly some uncomfortable moments in “Airbag” — but seeing the world anew is a tremendous reward, and it’s remarkable to be given so many different vantage points in one book. I’m excited to see where Ted Sanders will take us next. For now, I hope you all enjoy this story, and will find your way to No Animals We Could Name.
About Recommended Reading:
Great authors inspire us. But what about the stories that inspire them? Recommended Reading, a magazine by Electric Literature, publishes one story a week, each chosen by today’s best authors or editors.
— Lucy Goss is an intern for Electric Literature. She majors in English at Cornell University. You can follow her here.