New story out in Uncanny today, A Piece of the Continent! Friendship, family, road trip, middle America at its windiest.
And when you’re done with that, Caroline Yoachim interviewed me about the piece, so there’s more to read! One of the things we didn’t get a chance to talk about was the title, which some of you will already have spotted is cribbed from John Donne–we often get the beginning and the ending of the passage cut off in tiny pieces but not the full extent of it:
No man is an island,
Entire of itself.
Each is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.
If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less.
As well as if a promontory were.
As well as if a manor of thine own
Or of thine friend’s were.
Each man’s death diminishes me,
For I am involved in mankind.
Therefore, send not to know
For whom the bell tolls,
It tolls for thee.
Hits differently with the full context, doesn’t it? And when I was writing about driving across the middle of America, a piece of the continent I know all too well–a piece whose loss I would feel like a friend–that is as much as the loss of Vanuatu, of a swamp in Louisiana. So what better way to think about life with our friends. There’s tribute to more than one friend in this piece, there is entanglement–involvement, thanks, John–with more than one part of mankind here. I hope you enjoy.