“Anything Could Disappear” - A Short Story by Danielle Evans from her collection The Office of Historical Corrections - 2020
Thanks to Electrical Literature you may read this story accompanied by an introduction by Kelly Link
In June 18 of this year I posted upon my first lucky encounter with the work of Danielle Evans, on her story Boys go to Jupiter.
“Boys Go to Jupiter” - A Short Story by Danielle Evans - from Best American Short Stories 2018 - selected and introduced by Roxane Gay
First published in the Sewanee Review, Volume 125, Number 4, Fall 2017, included in her debut collection Before You Suffocate Your Own Fool Self.
This story here
Website of Danielle Evans
“In “Boys Go to Jupiter,” Danielle Evans writes a sly, subtle story about friendship and grief, but also about race and youth and small transgressions that become unintended acts of damage and defiance. “Boys Go to Jupiter” is one of the finest short stories I’ve ever read, and it embodies the ways in which fiction can be political without being heavy-handed or unnecessarily didactic.
I was very happy to find a story from her highly lauded second collection available on the website of Electrical Literature, with an introduction by Kelly Link.
My main purpose today, besides recording my reading, is to let those new to Danielle Evans know of the online availability of this story.
This fascinating story takes us deeply into the world of a young woman. When we meet Vera she is on a Greyhound Bus headed for New Jersey. She has $20,000 dollars worth of cocaine in her purse.. Her boyfriend has sent her on a delivery mission. Upon completion she will be paid $10,000 by a delivery business in New Jersey. Riding on a Greyhound bus is, for those not from America, the mode of transport of those on the bottom rung of society. People often exchange life stories with others they know they will never see again. Vera hear’s The story of several such persons.
The style of the story is almost like a fairy tale of modern America’s lost souls.
I dont want to give away a lot of the plot but everything gets going when a woman dumps her three year old son William on Vera, telling her she is just getting off the bus to use the rest stop but never returns. At first Vera thinks she must turn him over to Police. Then she figures not a good idea to go in Police station with cocaine in her purse. So she takes William along to deliver the cocaine to the messenger office.. They offer her a job as a clerk and one of the two owners turns into a decent boyfriend
Things get weird as Vera becomes more attached to William. She knows she should try to find his parents.
I dont want to tell more of the adventures of Vera. I greatly enjoyed this story and have the collection on my wish list.
From The author’s website
“Danielle Evans is the author of the story collections The Office of Historical Corrections and Before You Suffocate Your Own Fool Self. Her work has won awards and honors including the PEN American Robert W. Bingham Prize, the Hurston-Wright award for fiction, and the Paterson Prize for fiction. She is a 2011 National Book Foundation 5 under 35 honoree and a 2020 National Endowment for the Arts fellow. Her stories have appeared in magazines including The Paris Review, A Public Space, American Short Fiction, Callaloo, The Sewanee Review, and Phoebe, and have been anthologized in The Best American Short Stories 2008, 2010, 2017, and 2018, and in New Stories From The South.
She received an MFA in fiction from the Iowa Writers Workshop, previously taught creative writing at American University in Washington DC and the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and currently teaches in The Writing Seminars at Johns Hopkins University”