Beth Ann Fennelly directs the MFA program at Ole Miss, where she was named the 2011 Outstanding Liberal Arts Teacher of the Year. She has published four-and-a-half books (the half being a novel, The Tilted World, which she coauthored with her husband, Tom Franklin). Her new book, Heating & Cooling: 52 Micro-Memoirs, will be released by Norton this fall.
Micro-memoirs from our Spring 2017 issue.
My mother seined the waters of our childhoods. She gathered everything into the nets of her fingers: schoolwork, artwork, mementos. My mother did not recycle. Nor did she dispose. She was indisposed to it. Gathered now, it seems a kind of evidence, but of what?
It’s a kind of parlor game, a question someone asks at the after-party, perhaps, lounging on couches, shoes off, everyone half-drunk and one-quarter enamored and not ready for the long night to die. What’s your hidden talent? This is no invitation to brag—I got straight A’s in college, I can bench-press 220. Oh no no no, you win this game by trotting out your most bizarre and useless skill.