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Melanie Henderson's life is a lie. The scandal of her birth and the identity of her parents is kept from her family's small, conservative town. Not even she knows the truth: that her birth mother was just 14 and unmarried to her father, a boy who drowned when he tried to take a shortcut across an icy river. Years later, in Denver, Melanie dabbles in affairs with married men while clinging to a corporate job that gives her life order even as her tenuous relationships fall apart. If the Ice Had Held speaks with a natural lyricism, and presents a cast of characters who quietly struggle through complicated lives. Will her family secret be kept, or will it tear them apart? Selected for the Sante Fe Writers Project Grand Prize.
Wendy J. Fox is the author of The Seven Stages of Anger and Other Stories and The Pull of It. She received her MFA from Eastern Washington University, and her work has been published or is forthcoming in many literary reviews, websites, and blogs.
Speaking to both a personal and collective loss, in Brother Bullet Casandra López confronts her relationships with violence, grief, guilt, and ultimately, endurance. Revisiting the memory and lasting consequences of her brother’s murder, López traces the course of the bullet—its trajectory, impact, wreckage—in lyrical narrative poems that are haunting and raw with emotion, yet tender and alive in revelations of light.
Drawing on migratory experiences, López transports the reader to the Inland Empire, Baja California, New Mexico, and Arizona to create a frame for memory, filled with imagery, through the cyclical but changing essence of sorrow. This is paralleled with surrounding environments, our sense of belonging—on her family’s porch, or in her grandfather’s orange grove, or in the darkest desert. López’s landscapes are geographical markers and borders, connecting shared experiences and memories.
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