Stacey Richter is something else entirely. I’ve been following her career for a while with a mixture of glee and terror. She is wickedly funny and—get this—original. When Ezra Pound said “make it new” he was thinking ahead to Stacey Richter.
How good is her second collection, Twin Studies? Well, I took it to the beach at Montauk with me. Those who know me understand that this is the highest honor I can bestow.
As for her groundbreaking first collection, My Date with Satan, well, we are pleased to feature the title story here at Fictionaut. So you can see for yourself what I am talking about.
“My Date with Satan” was originally published in The Greensboro Review in 1997. I was 31 when the story was accepted, my first ever, and for a few days I was thrilled. Finally! I wanted more than anything to be a writer and I was filled with the conviction that I had something to say; I knew I’d wither if no one ever listened to me, and that was terrifying. But by then I’d already developed many of my current bad, writerly personality traits: I thought I was smarter than everyone else but also suspected I sucked, I had a casual faith in my talent but was a weird perfectionist, I was ruthlessly competitive but picked unworthy rivals, and I was sulky and lazy. So it didn’t take long for me to get over the thrill and suspect, once again, that I was worthless and empty and that, by writing short stories, I was banging my head against a wall in a crumbling asylum with no attendants. I still think that! But now I realize that all artists feel like this, at least some of the time. I understand that part of the drive to make art is to communicate despite the walls of isolation we build around ourselves. So this time, I’m honestly thrilled to have my story posted on Fictionaut.