The following is in response to Sarah Wilkinson’s “Sarah.”
The tension is created in this piece of short prose when, after we are reminded that the name “Sarah” appears in the Bible, it is revealed that the author’s mother is an atheist. I like how it flips my expectation on its head.
“She even considered Treutlen for a while, after an ancestor, another remnant of the strange, Southern need to cling to the past”—this sentence captured my attention because it made me think and linger on it for a while. We do this, name children after ancestors. Why…? Why is slapping a junior on the end of your name or creating a long line of the first, the second, the third better than something more unique like Brigid after the Pagan goddess?
I really enjoyed the image of her name as an article of clothing that doesn’t fit her: “So I wear this name, despite how it bunches at the elbows when I move, too tight in places, baggy in others, heavy with meanings I don’t want.” This is a very strong image to end the story on. Bravo, Sarah!