BRATTLEBORO—Local author Jodi Paloni’s debut story collection, “They Could Live With Themselves,” set in the fictional town of Stark Run, Vermont, was inspired by 25 years she spent living in Windham County, according to a news release.
She will read her prize-winning story, “Deep End,” from her new book on Friday, July 8, at 6 p.m., at Everyone’s Books on Elliot Street.
“What began as a few stories written at Vermont College of Fine Arts grew into a fictional town and a community of imagined characters that became as real to me as the physical landscape and actual people who inspired me daily,” she wrote recently.
While each story may be read as a stand-alone short story, the stories together follow a narrative arc that begins in May of one year and ends in May of the next.
“They Could Live With Themselves” was runner-up in the 2016 Press 53 Award for Short Fiction and was published by Press 53, an award-winning independent press out of Winston-Salem, N.C., in May 2016.
“We received nearly 300 entries in last year’s competition,” wrote editor Kevin Watson Morgan, “and choosing a winner was painfully difficult. The stories in ‘They Could Live With Themselves’ felt like a trip back home. I felt like I knew these people, and I grew to care about them and couldn’t stop thinking about them long after the last story.”
Paloni’s fiction appears in a number of literary magazine online and in print. She won the 2013 Short Story America Prize, placed second in the 2012 Raymond Carver Prize for Short Fiction, and was a recent finalist for the 2016 Maine Literary Award Short Works Competition. She moved to Mid-Coast Maine in the winter of 2015 and now shares her time between Maine and Vermont.
Paloni helps run the Brattleboro Literary Festival and periodically comes home to teach Word and Image classes at the River Gallery School.