McSweeney’s has announced the winner of the Amanda Davis Highwire Fiction Award: Jessica Anthony of Portland, Maine, “who writes about metallurgy, bullfighting, Hungary, love, monkeys, and meat.” One of her stories will appear in McSweeney’s Issue 14, and an excerpt from her novel-in-progress, The Convalescent, is posted on the site. Coincidentally, Pindeldyboz online recently published Ms. Anthony’s “Ladies With Social Diseases.” Here’s an excerpt:
My best friend, Maxwell, is convinced that he wants to become a woman.
“Maxwell,” I tell him, “if you are going to be a proper woman there is something you should know.”
He eagerly brings out a notepad.
“This is a man’s world,” I say. “As soon as you change, you will be giving up certain freedoms. Are you with me?”
Maxwell nods, and runs long and delicate fingers through his long and delicate hair. He will make a terrific woman. He is all abuzz about the fashion, the gossip. The weary sighs. He’s got it all down pat. I am not a terrific woman. I talk, eat, drink, dress and smile wrong.
Lord knows why Maxwell thinks I will be any help to him at all.