I first came across Allyson whilst I was reading for a rather fabulous literary ezine, Emprise Review. As anyone who has done something like that will know, reading submissions can be dispiriting. Not because of the bad writing – though that abounds – but because of the good writing. There is nothing so disheartening as good writing – perfectly polished, great sentences, wonderful descriptions, everything in the right order. And utterly soulless. Then I came across the following opening paragraph
“It’s a bad day because daddy’s in his striped pajamas. They’re the same pajamas he’s been in since mama’s funeral and that was three weeks ago, so Sada and I know to play outside again even though it’s ninety-nine degrees and sticky with no wind.”
read it through again, and realised my jaw had hit the floor a second time. It’s from a piece called “The Blue-Eyed Ant” which you can read in full here. It’s an absolutely exceptional piece. Just like Oasis.
Allyson Armistead is a graduate of the MFA program at George Mason University. She was listed in Narrative Magazine as one of 30 Under 30 exceptional emerging writers, has been nominated for the 2010 Best New American Voices anthology, and was the recipient of the Mary Roberts Rinehart Award in 2008. Her short fiction has appeared in Emprise Review, Coal City Review, and Narrative, and recently placed as a finalist in the New Millennium Writings winter writing contest. She is currently at work on a novel, The Way of Lien, a story set around the events of the Nanking massacre. She resides in the Washington, DC area.