I’ve had the opportunity to work with Kellie Wells for my final MFA semester. She’s a pretty amazing writer, and brilliant. Earlier in the semester, she used an expression that made a big impact on me: she was speaking of stories that had a magical “tilt.” It dawned on me that this “tilt” summarizes the writing I’m drawn to–and the works I hope to produce. The sorts of works that give the reader a surprising glimpse of the world at a different angle. This might happen through the employment of magic, the fantastic, humor, surprising juxtaposition or word choices., to name a few of the possibilities.
I was thinking about that while reading Kellie’s story, “Gathal Dethloff, Mother of Murder,” in this month’s issue of The Collagist. To me, her choice of words delivers sly little suprises. For example, at one point, when meeting an woman who is described to be as large as a grand piano, the narrator says, “’Hello?’ I said to Gaythal Dethloff, insufficiently.” That surprising adverb delivers.
I suggest you read it for yourself!