My Thresholds shortlisted essay examining William Gay’s ‘Where will you go when your skin cannot contain you’ is now live over on the Thresholds, The University of Chichester’s Short Story Forum. In this piece I explore the first short story of Gay’s that I stumbled across in the pages of The Best American Short Stories 2007, using Susan Lohafer’s preclosure theory to uncover the multiplicity of narratives encoded into this gripping tale of a man’s unravelling with grief and regret. You can read my take on Gay’s amazing story here.

When the post went live this morning, I was particularly pleased to read the judges’ comments on my essay :
‘The writer takes an interesting idea about ‘preclosure’ (which was new to me) and applies it to a story that I was also glad to discover for the first time … a very good piece, and the theory will stay with me’; ‘a bravely experimental approach’; ‘the sense of being ‘haunted’ to the point of being unable to write will be familiar to all writers’.

Also available are Alex Coulton’s 2016 prizewinning entry, ‘The Iron Which Pierces The Heart’, a refreshing new perspective on the work of Raymond Carver,  and the two excellent runner up entries, Tyler Millar’s essay on Ray Bradbury’s The Martian Chronicles and Mary O’Donnell’s examination of Alice Munro’s work. All worthy winners and well worth a read if short stories are your thing. And there’s more to come with the remaining shortlisted essays from Jonathan Pinnock and Susmita Battacharya to be published over this week. Good times.

I’m off to dig out my Carver, Bradbury and Munro collections to revisit them with fresh eyes.