Stephanie Harrison

Coming Soon! A collection of nonfiction works by Stephanie Harrison: Men from a Broken Country

Works


Toadal Chaos
You crossed the line, my friend Ann tells me. Im visiting her in California. Weve borrowed a trailer perched on a small mountain so that we can have a quiet place to write. Now Im trying to explain why I cant focus, why my nerves are so jangly. Why I can only take short, shallow breaths ...


Mary Janes
She wore homemade dresses and store-bought black patent-leather shoes (Mary Janes), and she loved her shoes, the crescent of white anklet sock that showed between the toe and the strap ...

Blessed Assurance
That summer Lily would get up early to help her grandmother search for slugs on the tomato plants, and although she pretended disgust, she liked the dew-drenched garden and the way conversation seemed out of place there ...

Dropped
She has always had too many friends, except for now, when she has left her old life behind for a Holy Grail of sorts--she looks grail up in the dictionary and finds that it is only a cup, and Holy Grail is only a legend, and she sighs and looks out the window ...

Metropolitan Home
The trouble with having embraced minimalism is that when her mother and grandmother come to visit, she doesn't have any chairs, except in the dining room, that her grandmother can sit in--or get out of--comfortably, and so that's how she and her mother and grandmother end up spending the entire week playing pinochle at the dining room table ...

Winter Acoustics
Snow continues to fall, and in this room they have borrowed, a muffled intimacy of quilt swish and window creak: winter acoustics--(only in New York, she thinks, are apartments loaned like clothing)--and somehow during the night, the radiator has learned a parlor trick ...

Running Dispute
It all comes down, she thinks, to this simple fact: wide piles are bad and tall piles are good; for example, he maintains a stack of newspapers on the living room coffee table, occasionally beside, but often on top of what she has been reading-(this week he's buried The Book of Laughter and Forgetting) ...

Lists
Every time Lily opens the windows to let in the salt-sea air, dozens of her lists--they're scrawled on the backs of envelopes or torn from spiral ring notebooks--blow about the house like small kites, then settle to the floor with a sad sashay; he teases her about this, the grocery list (broccoli, bread, capers) in the bathtub ...

Cold Comfort
His words sound muffled to her, as if a Kleenex has been stuffed into the phone line: slightly smaller than a tennis ball surgery Wednesday back to work home for dinner love ya

The Discreet Charm of Chemotherapy
He reads Ragtime while being poisoned by a nurse with a woodpecker tattooed on her ankle, and afterwards he describes this to Lily over hamburgers and beer--he is ravenous (go figure)--and she chuckles...

The Last Seduction
The music therapist's voice was flat, he complained afterwards; the art therapist suggested scrapbooking; the poetry therapist used the word simile for Chrissakes--and with the departure of each hospice worker, Lily feels more alone, trapped like a bear on a floating mattress...

Bereft
At night, and sometimes during the day, the phone rings and it's him, and his voice sounds so far away, but no longer in pain, and the people in her support group tell her these are ADCs (After-Death Communications), and that it's normal ...


A CURIOUS BOY WHO LIKES TO FLY
Effortless, like floating in the Great Salt Lake. Forty years ago, as a boy, Zach McKenna did this while on vacation in Utah, and he's never forgotten the sensation of...

What Zach Won't Do
Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years. A temporal safety zone, if you will. No need to make decisions now. Not necessary to draw conclusions. Divorce and her seven-letter cousin, Custody, they're big words. They can wait. Zach said and I agreed: Let's just get through the holidays. For the children. ...

Waiting For August to End
This is how I remember it: I'm ten or eleven, lounging with my cousins and Aunt Corinne on her sun porch. She's wearing a pink Chanel-style dress, like Jackie Kennedy, and she's sipping iced tea from a hot-pink metal tumbler. She's just discovered, she tells us...

Selected Works

You crossed the line, my friend Ann tells me. Im visiting her in California. Weve borrowed a trailer perched on a small mountain so that we can have a quiet place to write. Now Im trying to explain why I cant focus, why my nerves are so jangly. Why I can only take short, shallow breaths ...
He reads Ragtime while being poisoned by a nurse with a woodpecker tattooed on her ankle, and afterwards he describes this to Lily over hamburgers and beer--he is ravenous (go figure)--and she chuckles...
Effortless, like floating in the Great Salt Lake. Forty years ago, as a boy, Zach McKenna did this while on vacation in Utah, and he's never forgotten the sensation of lying still on the surface of the water, arms and legs spread wide, perfectly buoyant. Lately he's been thinking that in the span of a lifetime, these moments are too...
This is how I remember it: I'm ten or eleven, lounging with my cousins and Aunt Corinne on her sun porch. She's wearing a pink Chanel-style dress, like Jackie Kennedy, and she's sipping iced tea from a hot-pink metal tumbler. She's just discovered, she tells usthat someone is living in her house while she and my uncle are at work. Her crossed legs are bare and one of them jiggles up and down while she talks. As she grows more excited--telling us about her strange feeling, the little things she couldn't put her finger on...