Linda Paulson Adams
short story published in The 1998 Pushcart Prize XXII
Pushcart Press, 1998
I just read about the most bizarre, and in ways the most sad,LDS-written short story I've ever read. It's titled "The Wings" byKristen King and was originally published in Calyx and won a 1998Pushcart Prize, which is where I found it (The 1998 Pushcart PrizeXXII, pp. 353-362. In the back it says King has been recognized byWriters at Work and the Utah Arts Council, and holds an MFA from U.of Washington. FYI, Calyx, the magazine it appears in, iscategorized in my Poet's Market as a lesbian publication, however inmy Novel & Short Story Writer's Market that is not specified. Themagazine only accepts material written by women.
This is a very well-written story, but paints a sad portrait of anLDS marriage -- not anything at all like my own, happy to say, but Ihave to admit that certainly marriages such as the couple's in thestory unfortunately exist. It is far more sexually graphic than theLDS writing I've read dares to go (no offense taken on my part: thisis stated as a warning for anyone going to find it -- don't come backand say I didn't tell you). The story is that this woman goes to herrooftop every night after (unsatisfying) sex with her husband;eventually she finds an angel out there, a dirty, winged, tattooed,naked female angel, and brings her food to eat to coax her to theroof. After a bit of this she confesses to her bishop she "desires awoman," and the bishop, startled, basically tells her to read thescriptures more, to not act on it, and it will eventually resolveitself. She avoids the angel after that and finds the angel one nightwith her husband instead when she goes out to the rooftop, afterwhich she shoves the angel off the rooftop in indignation and theyboth go back to bed. End of story.
A quote from the end:
[T]he woman had to look away so she wouldn't see [the angel with herhusband.] .& .& . She would just wait until they were done; that was all.
& & & & "But she couldn't. .& .& . [S]omething was coming inside of her, slowlike a steamroller, but coming steadily, until she knew what it was.It was what Jesus did when he saw the money-changers. She stood upand ran toward the angel, shouting, Shoo! so that the angel lost herbalance and toppled off the roof. She opened her wings just beforeshe reached the ground, and then made a lonely wail and flew away. .& .& .
& & & & "Then the woman climbed back in through the window, put on hergarments, and went straight to bed, lying stiff and still when herhusband followed. In the morning it would be all right again; yes, ithad to be. She'd have sheets to wash, breakfasts and lunches to make.In the morning she'd get up, she'd have her honey tea, she'd take herbubble bath, she'd go to the store and buy some more light bulbs toreplace the ones that had burned out in the kitchen."
Has anyone else read this one, know more about the author, or haveany commentary?
Linda Adams email@example.com http://www.geocities.com/SoHo/Lofts/8776 Webmaster, Little Ones Lost, LDS miscarriage related losses http://home.sprintmail.com/~adamszoo/
© 1999 Linda Adams < firstname.lastname@example.org >