Fantastic news for Emma Duffy-Comparone! Emma recently won a Pushcart Prize for her story, “The Zen Thing,”
From the story:
Each year, like a shifty circus in a truck, the family unpacks itself for a weekend on a beach and pretends to have a good time. This summer they are in Rhode Island, on Scarborough Beach. Everyone is staying at the Sea Breeze Motel down the street. Expectations are low. It is the kind of setup where doors open to a courtyard, which is carpeted. In the middle of the carpet is a pool. In the middle of the pool, submerged, are a bikini bottom and a bloated swimming noodle, which has somehow drowned like a piece of plumbing pipe.
Billy, Anita’s brother, who is thirteen and has Down syndrome, has spent the morning dipping a red bucket into the pool and watering all of the plastic plants with it: the scheffleras in the corner, and a few palms slouching under the exit signs. He wears an industrial measuring tape clipped to his bathing suit and has measured the diving board several times and the circumference of the doorknobs to their rooms. Anita adores Billy.
“He’s really into maintenance these days.” Anita’s mother sighs. “And breasts.”
Emma Duffy-Comparone’s fiction has appeared or is forthcoming in The Pushcart Prize XXXIX, Ploughshares, One Story, American Scholar, Southern Review, Mississippi Review, Cincinnati Review, and The Sun. She has received scholarships from the Bread Loaf and Sewanee Writers’ Conferences, and fellowships from the MacDowell Colony and the Elizabeth George Foundation. She is a lecturer at Tufts University.