You may remember I posted awhile back about Sixfold, the new peer-reviewed-in-the-largest-sense literary journal started by Garrett Doherty. It was a great experience reading for this magazine and I’m happy to report my story, “The Learning Theory,” ranked high enough to be published in the Summer 2013 Fiction issue.
It’s a weird story for me, written specifically to discuss post-traumatic stress disorder which was recently retooled in the DSM-V to include trauma to first responders and those under constant pressure hearing about or witnessing life-threatening situations, such as some social workers, rape and suicide therapists, those in ERs.
For the past five summers my friend and colleague Sarah Twill (in Social Work) and I have taught a course at Wright State called “Mental Health and Contemporary Fiction” where we look at how literature represents mental illness and what these representations tell us about society. We’ve had a hard time finding diagnosable examples in short stories. “Notes to My Biographer” by Adam Haslett is a great one for bi-polar and “A Temporary Matter” by Jhumpa Lahiri is great for depression but that’s about it. So we asked writers to contribute a story around a specific illness and paired them with a social scientist working in that area to help them with details and accuracy. Katrina Kittle wrote about eating disorders; Daryl Farmer wrote about depression in older adults; I wrote about PTSD; a former student of the class, Ryan Ireland, wrote about Oppositional Defiant Disorder. It’s a great project but we’re still looking for a home for the collection so I’m happy to see at least one of the stories make it to print.