Today was one of those Indiana days where the sky stays flat gray, not oil paint cloud gray, not I-wish-I-could-match-nail-polish-to-it-gray. Flat, unyielding gray. And it misted in little annoying bursts rather than shift to snow or even rain.
If you’re having a similar day, give yourself a gift and take the time to listen to Dr. Amina Gautier read her story that will be reprinted in Forward: “Before.”
Dr. Amina Gautier is the author of three short story collections: At-Risk, Now We Will Be Happy and The Loss of All Lost Things. At-Risk was awarded the Flannery O’Connor Award and the Eric Hoffer Legacy Award. Now We Will Be Happy was awarded the Prairie Schooner Book Prize in Fiction, the International Latino Book Award, the Royal Palm Literary Award, and was a Finalist for the William Saroyan International Prize. The Loss of All Lost Things was awarded the Elixir Press Award in Fiction, the Phillis Wheatley Award, the Chicago Public Library’s 21st Century Award, and was a Finalist for the Hurston/Wright Award, the Paterson Prize, the John Gardner Award, and shortlisted for the SFC Literary Prize. Gautier has been the recipient of fellowships from the Camargo Foundation, the Chateau de Lavigny, Dora Maar House/Brown Foundation, Kimmel Harding Nelson Center, the MacDowell Colony, the Vermont Studio Center, and the Woodrow Wilson Foundation. More than one hundred of her short stories have been published, appearing in Agni, Best African American Fiction, Blackbird, Callaloo, Glimmer Train, Iowa Review, Oxford American, Pleiades, Prairie Schooner, Quarterly West, and Southern Review among other places. For her body of work she has received the PEN/MALAMUD award.
We chose this story because it was a mixture of nostalgia and danger. We chose this story because it’s about growing older and wanting to be an adult without idealizing childhood.
If you like this story, there’s more great stories to come. You can pre-order Forward for $12 and free shipping in the US until mid-January. (After that you’re going to have to pay 20% more and then eventually after that, you’ll have to pay for shipping, too)
May this story make your day a little brighter!