Monday, November 19, 2012

Reader's Diary #898- Dawn Curtis: Low-Hanging Fruit

I was more than a little pleased to discover another local talent this week. Not that I "discovered" her, like I was the key to her success or anything like that, just that I was previously unaware of Dawn Curtis or her writing, though she lives right here in Yellowknife. What can I say? Sometimes Yellowknife seems like a really small place, other times it doesn't.

Anyway, "Low-Hanging Fruit" was a runner up story in WOW! the Woman on Writing Quarterly Flash Fiction Contest. It's about a teenage girl basically coming to terms with her body and becoming a woman. Needless to say, I felt like a bit of an outsider with this one, but I still enjoyed it nonetheless.

I was somewhat perplexed by the setting however. The story begins "A cantaloupe and a rutabaga." It's catchy, and a nice contrast of images (even though a rutabaga isn't a fruit), but when she goes onto talk about undoing her corset, I'm let to wonder where and when this is happening. Certainly not in Yellowknife. Any Yellowknifer modern enough to know what a cantaloupe is wouldn't be wearing a corset. Where would they have had cantaloupes and rutabagas back in the days of corsets? Italy? I settled on Italy. Later there's a mention of a Mr. Sartopolous. Okay, Greece. I wasn't too far off. But then there's a mention of Toronto at the end, so I'm not sure. Wikipedia tells me corsets started going out of fashion at about 1910. Would a teenage Greek girl at around say 1900 possibly be daydreaming about Toronto?

Who knows. Not really the point of the story. I figured this diversion was my male way of dealing with a tale that was clearly not a male story. So I read it again and paid more attention. (It's flash fiction, so a 2nd reading is easy enough to do.) I like the story. It's simple, and while there's a depressing tone, the sense of wanting out, wanting more is ripe.

(Did you review a story for Short Story Monday? If so, please leave a link in the comments below!)

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