One of the smaller pools of work among the many types published in our journal is that of non-fiction, but lucky for you, that’s exactly the type of enthralling writing that makes today’s vintage pick worthy of a second glance. Brandon R. Schrand’s “Collusion” was part of our Panliterary Awards Competition and was good enough to earn a spot as a finalist in DB 9, Winter 2007–2008. Check out an excerpt below and scroll down for a link to enjoy the rest:
“I learned Vic’s story the same way I learned the stories of many of our guests — in fragments. Neither my parents or grandparents ever sat down and told me someone’s story in a complete narrative, start to finish. It was impolite to talk about anyone at that length. I suppose it felt less gossipy, less indulgent if they ladled out bits of their story intermittently, in abbreviated turns. Generally, I took what I heard and filled in the holes with my own observations. The pieces of Vic’s story filtered down to me this way: He was in the pen. Killed someone. Intelligent. Has a teenage daughter. Has a temper. I took note of the tattoos that inked his forearms, the time he spent in the lobby phone booth talking, I presumed, I hoped, to his daughter. The far-flung father calling home. Then I tried to align this information with the stories and rumors I had heard about him. There were always stories. I watched him in the lobby or as he slipped into the bar. I spied on him through the keyhole in the French doors of our apartment.”
Brandon R. Schrand is the author of Works Cited: An Alphabetical Odyssey of Mayhem & Misbehavior (2013), and The Enders Hotel: A Memoir (2007). His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Sports Illustrated, The Dallas Morning News, The Utne Reader, Tin House, Shenandoah, The Georgia Review, The Missouri Review, Columbia, River Teeth, Ecotone, and numerous other publications. He also has essays in several anthologies including Borne on Air: Essays by Idaho Writers (EWU Press); Now Write!: Nonfiction Writing Exercises from Today’s Best Writers and Teachers (Tarcher/Penguin); and The Book of Dads: Essays on the Joys, Perils, and Humiliations of Fatherhood (Ecco/Harper Collins). He has won the 2006 Willard R. Espy Award, Shenandoah’s 2008 Carter Prize, the Pushcart Prize, four Pushcart Prize Special Mentions, and has had Notable Essays in the Best American Essays 2007, 2008,2009, and 2013. His nonfiction has also earned a Yaddo residency. He lives in Moscow, Idaho with his wife and two children. For more info. about Schrand, visit his website.
This post was originally published January 26, 2017 on https://medium.com/drunken-boat by Rose McNeill.