In celebration of NER’s 40th anniversary, Ernest McLeod, longtime Reader and Editorial Panel member for fiction, introduces “Domestic Interiors of the Midwest,” two stories by Lori Ostlund, from NER 30.3 (2009).
François Scarborough Clemmons
When I was born, the Sanders-Scarborough clan had lived for several generations in the sprawling, blanched little town of Blackwater, Mississippi, just north of Meridian in the backwater region near the Okatibbee Reservoir and the Alabama border. If you weren’t a cotton farmer or sharecropper, or a smithy who worked for white folks, there wasn’t much else to do there. Some folks got along raising chickens and guinea fowl, some did light farming but could not prosper.