New short story: The Swahili Word for Hope

One of the things I love about writing is that it allows the writer to take risks as an artist, even as I worry about whether I’ll sound snooty by referring to myself as an “artist.”

In my opinion, artists must push themselves or risk becoming stale. I’ve written my share of run-of-the-mill crime stories, so today I want to talk about a crime story that isn’t a crime story.

In The Swahili Word for Hope, published this month in The Dillydoun Review, you’ll meet a young man whose parental expectations are only exceeded by the ones he puts on himself.

Bertrand Fournier is a 22-year-old MFA student whose mother won the National Book Award at a similar young age. But whereas his mama was a rockstar, Bertrand … ain’t.

The failure to live up to his mother’s ambitions for him (to say nothing of his own), push Bertrand into making a decision that will affect everything he does going forward. That’s all I can really say about the story without giving you more of a spoiler than you’d want.

Much thanks to Amy Burns at The Dillydoun Review for taking a flyer on this story. I hope you’ll love it, and I hope that final line will linger with you for a long time.

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