Nancy Zafris, fiction editor of The Kenyon Review, interviewed Holly Goddard Jones, whose story “Life Expectancy” appears in the Winter 2007 issue of The Kenyon Review.
Read "Life Expectancy" at The Kenyon Review.
NZ: Tell me a little bit about that [a collection of your stories from graduate school].
HJ: There are nine stories at this point, though I may need to cut one for length. I tend to write long, and many of my stories cover spans of years. I like seriousness and sweep and — to one of my professor’s constant aggravation — exposition. When I talked about my “real” writing life, I was referring largely to my discovery that short fiction could be generous and soulful, in the manner of Andre Dubus, and not just a brief glimpse at some moment or idea. I think the collection reflects that interest. I wrote “Good Girl,” the Southern Review story, at the beginning of my second year in graduate school. It was a leap forward for me. I learned something about the writer I wanted to be in the process of getting that story down, and I can look back at it two years after completing the draft and think, Yeah, that’s not bad. That’s still me.