When the Cicadas Return
 

 

   
 
 

 

 

 

 

Fiction

 

 

port authority orchids

 

Port Authority Orchids
by Stephanie Dickinson

short stories


“This enigmatic classic by Stephanie Dickinson, follows thirteen-year-old prodigy Dalloway as she spends Easter vacation with her father and grandmother in Manhattan. Both father and grandmother constantly hog the spotlight, leaving Dalloway feeling largely invisible. (Those familiar with her namesake from Virginia Woolf’s novel may remember that Clarissa Dalloway, too, “had the oddest sense of herself being invisible”). Dalloway also has a preoccupation with hybrid animals and likens her family to them (her transgendered father being a cross between male and female; and her grandmother, having just undergone cosmetic surgery, being a cross between young and old). As Dalloway soon learns, she is consubstantial with her father and grandmother. She is nothing but a domesticated hybrid in the wilderness that is New York City. Just as the protected existence of Woolf’s Clarissa Dalloway had left her ignorant of the experience of the lower classes, so too is the Dalloway of this story ignorant of life outside her bubble. Bolstering this offbeat cautionary tale throughout is its gimlet humor. Dickinson also limns so well the frightening and majestic backdrop of New York, the “sexiest address in the world.” Thanks to Dickinson’s mesmerizing narrative, it’s easy for the reader to get lost in the city, even if just on the page.”

--Matthew Limpede, editor, Carve

Port Authority Orchids is a coming-of-age narrative that is by turns humorous, quirky, and tragic.  Stephanie Dickinson offers the reader New York as seen by Dalloway, a precocious and idealistic teenage girl with a fractured, eccentric family in constant metamorphosis. Dickinson's eye for detail and narrative style entice the reader to sit up, look and listen for the next beautifully crazy scene.  One of the many characters that stands out is the brazen, redwoodesque Great Aunt Dorna of "Sonic Ear," an elderly version of Astrid Lindgren's ultrafeminist Pippi Longstocking with an endless supply not of golden coins from a treasure chest, but of expensive sets of flatware and tableware that she offers, piece by piece, as currency. Dorna is the adult role model Dalloway deserves; together, they take on all those who would usurp or brutalize women on the streets. I am thrilled to see this collection of stories together at last.”

--Bonnie Ditlevsen, editor, Penduline

 

 

Poetry

 

Non-Fiction

 

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  Port Authority Orchids - $15.00
 

 

Website: stephaniedickinson.net
 

 

 

Excerpt:
Sonic Ear

       
Stephanie Dickinson raised on an Iowa farm, has lived in Oregon, Texas, Louisiana and now New York City, a state unto itself. Her novel Half Girl is published by Spuyten Duyvil as well as the novella Lust Series. Her work has appeared in many journals most recently Fjords, Nimrod, Hotel Amerika, Weber Studies, Tusculum Review, Lit n Image, and WIP Works In Progress. Her story “A Lynching in Stereoscope” was reprinted in Best American Nonrequired Reading and “Dalloway and Lucky Seven” and “Love City” in New Stories from the South. She is the winner of New Delta Review’s 2011 Matt Clark Fiction prize judged by Susan Straight, and a finalist in the 2012 Starcerone Book Prize for Innovative Fiction. Heat: An Interview with Jean Seberg will be published by New Michigan Press in its 2013 chapbook series. Along with Rob Cook she edits Skidrow Penthouse.  
 
 

 

 
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