Fiction & Essays

“Dogs of America” Winner of the 2019 Jack Dyer Fiction Prize, forthcoming from Crab Orchard Review (Summer 2019).

21-year-old Avi, couchsurfing, jobless and recently out as trans, can’t figure out how to be an adult. When his best friend gets tired of mommy-ing him, Avi’s only option is to use a forged Greyhound pass to return home to his real mother, a recently converted Jew.

“Bad Things That Happen To Girls”  Named by Best American Short Stories 2016 as one of the year’s 100 Distinguished Stories. (Colorado Review -November 2015; Winner of the Nelligan Prize, judged by Lauren Groff; Featured on the Colorado Review podcast)

Birdie’s daughter is turning thirteen, an age when bad things happen to girls, but Birdie has a plan. All she needs is an RV,  a pot-holder loom and six thousand dollars, cash.

Birdie worked at the Rite Aid, and then she didn’t. Like snow clouds coming apart, it was that easy. All she had to say was “I quit,” and it didn’t matter that the blue apron trembled as she untied, folded, and laid it on Guy’s desk, or that he protested loudly in the bewildering, sports-related dialect to which she’d grown accustomed over the years.

Destroyed Flowers Everywhere” (Fourteen Hills – May 2015 and featured online at The Writer’s Bloc – Sept. 2015; Winner of Wilner Short Story Award, judged by Kirsten Valdez Quade; Fourteen Hills Pushcart Prize Nominee)

The 1980s-themed, end of the world lesbian teen sex romp you didn’t know you needed.

14 hills

“The Invention of History” (Midnight Breakfast – July 2014) – In a place that is/is not the Vilnius Ghetto, history is rewritten daily.

The council was a condition of our internment, the first thing we had, its volunteers young men with early-ruined skin. Because of our distrust for conscripts, we ground their names into the frosty streets. “Councilmember,” we called them, but only when necessary.

After the council, boys organized a soccer league; women, a trade in bread and other goods; while the writers, gone ever stranger, folded parchment into coat linings, buried books alive.

I don’t remember who thought of the jail, only that we heard the cell walls settling at night.

“Live Feed” (Slush Pile Magazine – July 2014) – A tomboy, a cyclone, a first kiss–and, of course, supernatural possession.

I MIGHT AS WELL BEGIN with the tornado, even though it’ll lead to all sorts of questions. You’ll want to know how it felt to hang in the taffy-like stretch of time as sure of death as the dead; about how little Kyle entered a bundle of hyperactive incoherence and emerged tightfisted, pinched with crazy poetry; about Jamie, who no one ever helped, ending up at Yale; or how our tragic mother fell down and couldn’t get up; about photographs of guestless twelfth birthday parties, divorced parents’ weddings and unalike sisters goggling for the camera—that Good Samaritans swept into Food-For-Less bags, along with holey underpants and canisters of Mr. Clean. But remember: the best stories, the truest stories, are the ones that hide underneath, that belong to questions you’d never think of asking.

“Assignment of Blame” (Bluestem – June 2013) – love is shit.

“Did we lose the road?” I am careful. Do not say you. Did you lose the road. It’s something I’ve been practicing with my therapist–wording sentences without blame in mind, not even at the back of my mind, no possibility of blame. Instead, observe. State what is. Formulate neutral questions.


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