Friday, May 11, 2007

Stacey Richter's "Twin Study"

Pushcart Prize-winning author Stacey Richter applied the "Page 99 Test" to her new collection of stories, Twin Study, and reported the following:
I freakin’ love my page 99! It’s from “The Long Hall, ” a story about Salt Lake City punk rockers. In this scene, the fifteen year-old narrator is playing with her big sister’s band for the first time and she’s really nervous. I especially love the last line of the paragraph because it contains a minature seed of the story as a whole — which is about a young person’s sense that the world is full of open doors, and how she feels those doors slam in her face. It’s a little darker and less funny than the book overall but representative of my work in that it touches on my interest in female characters, rock and roll, isolation, and sadness.

By the time we start to play, a few more kids have begun skulking around or climbing up on the bleachers — mostly though, I try not to look at the people. I look at my hands or I look at Shane, singing with her mouth touching the microphone. I’m trying to play right but I have an unhealthy spelling-bee feeling. C C C C, D D D D — aren’t those the right letters? Maybe it’s okay; Shane seems to be singing and Paula seems to be hitting the drums. I try to play in time. I try to listen when Paula clicks her sticks together at the beginning of each song. This is the best moment — right before the music starts, before we’ve had a chance to fuck anything up.
Visit Stacey Richter's website for more about Twin Study and to read several of her stories that are available online.

--Marshal Zeringue