Pleasantly surprised to receive my copy of volume 36 of Emrys Journal, which features my short story “Here There is No Rainbow.” Here’s the cover:
The story has become the seed of a much longer, and evolving project, although I’m still not sure the scope of it—what it will turn into, if anything. It also served as assay into a different style I’d been playing around with for some time, and which has seemed to stick for me. Who knows. I have some personal connections with the material, too, in some ways; the story involves writing about characters that I hadn’t in any serious fictional way before: people with disabilities.
If you truly know people with disabilities, especially intellectual disabilities, what you see portrayed in contemporary fiction is, bluntly put, terrible. For example: I read what was an otherwise fairly good novel by a prominent and prize-winning author, who portrayed the relationship between a woman with intellectual and physical disabilities and her sibling. Within a page or two it was obvious the author had no idea what she was talking about; it’s hard to describe, but it’s the type of inauthenticity that one can usually only see when one has the authentic feeling him or herself. The book was otherwise impeccably researched, but this portrayal—from a lack of personal experience I found out—was hollow and unrealistic.
I hope that “Here There is No Rainbow” isn’t that, even though it is confined by being just a short story, and not having the novel length to explore the characters in more detail. People with disabilities, intellectual or otherwise, want what everyone else wants, and their parents and brothers and sisters want the same things for them as any other family member wants for their “normal” family. This is what such fiction should understand.
Thanks, again, to the wonderful folks at Emrys for giving my story a chance.