Perv Jungle was chosen by Sam Lipsyte as this year's winner of the Lit Pop awards (by Matrix Magazine.) I wrote this story as a way of "conversing with" Forever Overhead, a gorgeous coming-of-age story by David Foster Wallace. It took me years to figure out why I couldn't let this little story of mine go, despite draft after draft that just languished. But I think I just figured it out: while I love coming-of-age stories, my unconscious wanted to talk about the double burden felt by girls at this time. We're feeling the shifts in our biology the way boys are, but that same biology puts us at risk. Our bodies start to become the object of male fixation, even grown men. Therefore, our coming-of-age automatically includes an element of danger. I couldn't give up on this story, and I think it's because I needed to say something about this.
I can't believe it!
Sam Lipsyte— the Sam Lipsyte— chose my story as the winner of this year's Lit POP Award. I'm honoured and ecstatic and can't think of smaller words right now. My stomach feels like it's hosting a mariachi band.
I know it's not about the accolades or the recognition, but hot damn, sometimes it's a nice feeling to know that something you wrote resonated with someone.
To celebrate: burritos for dinner, and a Jays game.