"None of it happened, and yet every word of it is true."
Grace Paley said that about her fiction, and I think it just about sums up how I think of my work, and how I hope readers will think about it.
Paley died of cancer yesterday. (Click here for her obit.)
I took a seminar this summer where we did close readings of a few of her stories, and boy am I glad I did. I learned so much from her writing about what makes a short, short story work: how the story can simply express a moment in time, and show the slightest change in the character at the end. In that way, I think that Paley's fiction is the heart of truth--after all, to paraphrase the Eagles, people change so slowly if they ever change at all.