We are the authors, brought together on this page and, likely, on many others.
Has a teacher been offering us up for years?
Did the student whose bleeding pen recorded our names and titles choose us from many or were we all she was given?
Why did she tear out the page and fold it neatly?
To toss it?
To take it to a bookstore?
Did it serve its purpose or did she lose it too soon?
The three of us never met. Not once. Chances are we won’t now. Stella’s been gone for a quarter of a century, after all, and Fay lives in Dorset, England, Nicole in Chicago, USA. We’re all three feminists of a sort, but our sensibilities… A She Devil would fit right into those chronicles, but neither Sylvia nor that She Devil would find comfort, cold or otherwise, on that farm. That’s a different sort of a place altogether. Not a place Sylvia would want to go. And the She Devil’d make short work of the folks there, that’s for sure.
Anyway, we were talking about finding ourselves together like this, cosily listed, warmly, roundly credited. The big round B and the extraneous colon, used in error, firm and full, setting us off. By:
Am I, Nicole, here for the lazy ones, the ones who don’t want to read ALL THAT TEXT?
How about me, Fay? I think I’m a trick. That She Devil of mine is meant to lure the unsuspecting into a piece of literary fiction.
As for me, Stella? Sure, I’m dead, but that doesn’t mean I can’t speak my mind, point out that even decades after my passing, even in a new century, it’s still my first book that makes the list. Forget the other 22, the decades of writing that followed, the honing of my craft. A one-trick pony I remain.
We wish—all three of us—to know what the assignment was, and whether or not it was completed. We hope—all three of us—that the young person wrote down our names and titles because she wanted to.
Could we be her summer reading?
Maggie de Vries is the author of ten books, including two teen novels—Hunger Journeys and Rabbit Ears—and a memoir for adults—Missing Sarah: a Memoir of Loss. CBC included Hunger Journeys in their recent list of “100 Young Adult Books that Make You Proud to Be Canadian,” and Rabbit Ears won the Sheila A. Egoff Children’s Literature Prize at the 2015 BC Book Prizes. Maggie teaches in UBC’s Creative Writing Program, speaks and gives workshops regularly to groups of all ages, and coaches and mentors people who wish to write about their own lives.
She can be found at: www.maggiedevries.com
(far be it from me to challenge the woman on her spelling; she’s got problems enough)