Body Asking Shadow.

I've been submitting to Indiana Review for about a million years now. Lots of nice feedback along the way, and a couple of close calls in their contests, but no paydirt until now: it's a great pleasure for me to be able to say that "Body Asking Shadow" is out in their latest issue, Volume 20, Number 1. Much good company too: Denise Duhamel and Stuart Dybek and Dustin Long and Lucia Perillo for starters.

"Body Asking Shadow" is one of the few stories I've set in China so far. I'm pretty sure more will come later, after we've left. That's usually how it goes.

And, to save you a little googling, the title is from Gary Snyder's amazing translation of Han Shan's Cold Mountain sequence:

"A hill of pines hums in the wind. And now I've lost the shortcut home, Body asking shadow, how do you keep up?"

August 5, 2007, 4:10 p.m.Categories: China, Poetry, Short Stories


It took me a long time to get this story right, but I finally did, and it found a home: it's now out in the Summer 2007 issue of a British litmag called The Reader. It's a great little magazine--they list blurbs from Seamus Heaney and Doris Lessing and Harold Bloom on the back cover--and it's part of an entire... huge... thing at the University of Liverpool. Literary events, outreach, education--they've got it all.

I'm not sure where the center of this story came from, but I remember Walker Percy saying that chickens have no myths, which got me thinking about possible sets of circumstances in which a person might also by mythless, and what the consequences might be.

August 1, 2007, 4:05 p.m.Category: Short Stories