It was easy for me after reading "Let's Do" by Rebecca Meachum to understand why it won the Katherine Anne Porter Prize for Short Fiction. The collection is nothing short of breathtaking. Each of the nine stories is as strong as the next--a stunning, consistent group of stories.
In "Trims & Notions," an unwed teacher finally tells her sister and mother about her pregancy in the eleventh hour; in "Good Fences," a couple's quite retirement life is interrupted by a loud neighbor and her daughter; in "Weights and Measures," a young woman explains her path to Bulemia--Meacham's use of second person in this one is skilled and effective; in "The Assignment," a man is asked by his girlfriend to "attack" her so that she may gauge her ability to defend herself.
One of the most heartbreaking stories I've ever read was the title story, "Let's Do." An artful, poignant study of how one woman with a love for life slowly loses that love over time after a series of tragedies. Meacham's character does not wallow in self-pity, however, but rather, she argues with dignity whether there is any longer a point for her existence.
This is what the judge Jonis Agee, had to say about the collection:
"Rebecca Meacham has one of the freshest voices I've encountered in a long time. Blatantly wise, she creates stories that are delicioiusly subversive, brave and outrageous. As the lives of her characters get derailed, they move with the damaged grace of walking through broken glass on tiptoe. This is a beautiful, authentic talent."
- Originally from Vermont, I now live in North Carolina. My work can be found in recent issues of REAL: Regarding Arts and Letters, The Jabberwock Review, The Emerson Review, Storyglossia, The MacGuffin, Confrontation, Passages North, SmokeLong Quarterly, elimae, wigleaf, and Pank, among others, and forthcoming from Gargoyle #57 and REAL: Regarding Arts and Letters. One of my stories has been translated into Farsi by Asadollah Amraee, and many others by Jalil Jafari, two of which have been published in the Iranian journal, Golestaneh Magazine. For two years I worked as an assistant editor for Narrative Magazine. Currently, I serve as a mentor for Dzanc's Creative Writing Sessions. I'm working on two novels and a short story collection. In May, I was awarded the Carol Houck Smith Contributor Scholarship for the 2011 Bread Loaf Writers' Conference.