Episode 30 --- Renee Simms
I loved Renee Simms' short story collection, Meet Behind Mars.
From the very first story, her debut grabbed my attention and wouldn't let me go. She primarily writes about Black women and girls who are looking for their place in the world.
Renee tells their stories with a deft hand. The stories in the collection touch on several issues, including the difficulty in finding work-life balance, the pain lurking behind family secrets and the ways in which families deal with mental health issues.
But despite these heavy topics, the collection also provides lots of lighter moments. The titular story was my favorite. How could you not love a story that begins this way?
"I feel like I can’t tell one story about a giant mustard penis because it’s not about a mustard penis only, but about all of these incidents together, in context, and through time."
Renee enjoys playing with form and structure and various styles of writing. Fans of realism, fabulism and satire will find something to enjoy in this collection.
- The two writers who most influenced her work
- Why she wanted to explore the complexities of motherhood
- Her concerns about the education system in the U.S.
- How she plans to use her legal background to improve her writing (Yes, Renee is also an attorney)
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We'll send a free copy of Meet Behind Mars to the first listener to tell us one of the books Renee is reading right now. You can tweet us the answer @ReadMorePodcast or write it on our Facebook page.
If you have won a ReadMore giveaway in the last 90 days, you're ineligible. If you and I ever served on the media committee at Antioch in Oviedo, you're probably ineligible. ReadMore does not have a friends and family plan! But we'll always have the newsletter, my way-too-detailed meeting notes and those snazzy videotaped announcements.