I’m so thrilled that Kelly Link chose my story, “Ghost Jeep,” as winner of Sycamore Review‘s Wabash Prize in Fiction. I’ve been a fan of Link’s work for a long time. She’s one of the finest storytellers we have, and I’m grateful that she would like one of my stories.
This story is important to me for a lot of reasons. It draws a lot on my teenage years driving around rural Arkansas in my best friend’s Jeep Cherokee. There’s a lot of home in it. And after reading this story at Southern Arkansas University’s Youth Writing Festival and getting such a great response from the attendees, I’m happy that it found such a good home.
Here are Link’s comments on the story:”What a pleasure to read a ghost story in which it is the ghosts who are haunted by the living. This story had the structure of an urban (suburban?) legend that, rendered in the third person plural, gained back some of its strangeness. The ghosts, doomed to go down their roads and town in plural perpetuity, are mirrored by the town (also an entity made up of many) which haunts and is haunted by them. The girl, on the other hand, is nicely sketched in as something singular. Why is she drawn toward dangerous roads and the dead? Honestly, I’m happier not to know. Isn’t that what adolescence is about? Looking for people who won’t judge you, and exits from the place that you don’t want to be anymore? The rules of the supernatural are also nicely clear, and the story feels grounded in coherent details of life, and how we regret the things that were done to us as well as the things that we are no longer capable of doing.”
You can find the official announcement here.