Tuesday May 21

Robert Clark Young Is it a transgressive act to write about an antisocial—even a criminal—act? I think not. Some readers might be offended by “That Thing.” As well they should be, though it be no fault of the author, B. Yvette Yun. She was, after all, the victim here.

Nor should that short, shocking jolt be considered an introduction to what follows, except that it is as well-written as the next three pieces, which are all by student writers.

One of the reasons it’s so much fun to publish new, young writers is because they can surprise you in ways you’ve never been surprised before. This month, I am surprised and proud to be presenting three talented young writers from the Kent School in Connecticut.

I give you “Johnnie Walker” by Christian Kim. Kim had me at the first line: “I hate Canada, where my father lives with a woman I have never met.” There are people who’ve been writing for thirty years who can’t get you with the first line.

I also give you “Let It Go” by Mary Yoo Jin Um. Um conveys a sense of interpersonal complexity between the characters that one would expect from a much more experienced human being and writer.

Finally, I give you “The Beginning of the End” by Ayse Ercan. The story begins with the alarm going off, waking our protagonist. I have read more or less ten thousand unpublished manuscripts that begin this way. This is the only time I’ve ever seen it work.

I’m pleased to welcome these three talented young people to the community of published authors. In the years to come, we’ll undoubtedly see wonderful things from them all.