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Meakin Armstrong: On Laura van den Berg

October 28, 2009


meakin_armstrong-small.jpg I’m sure all of those other fiction editors who’ve published Laura van den Berg are proud of themselves and patting themselves on the back for their ability to spot talent. Her book of short stories, What the World Will Look Like When All the Water Leaves Us is a critical hit. I’m one of those back self-patters, because she’s in Guernica for Two Short-Short Stories.

But the truth is that while I knew Laura was going to be a success for quite some time, it wasn’t because I’d second sight; I can’t claim any ability there. We were both waiters at the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference a couple of years ago, and even among that talent glut, she was a standout.

Her writing is spare and elliptical. Large topics are broached, but quietly. The stories unfurl in your mind and stay with you. Read her. Read an interview with her on Luna Park to find out more about her and to see if she is reading at a bookstore or venue near you.

Bio: Meakin Armstrong is Guernica’s fiction editor. You can follow him on Twitter at @meakinarmstrong.

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