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Erin Pringle


Website: MySpace.com/ErinPringle

Erin Pringle is from Illinois. She teaches at Texas State University, where she obtained an MFA in Creative Writing.  Her work has appeared in numerous anthologies and been nominated for a Pushcart Prize.

Short Story Collections

The Floating Order
Two Ravens Press, 2009

Reviewed by Pauline Masurel

 Interview with Erin Pringle

The Short Review: How long did it take you to write all the stories in your collection?

Erin Pringle: The stories span about nine years, so there are stories in it from college then graduate school then a few stories a bit after that I had intended for another book.

TSR: Did you have a collection in mind when you were writing them?

EP: I always knew stories went in a collection, but not until I was putting them together in my thesis did I start to consider the collection as an entity with its own narrative needs. Carole Maso was my adjunct reader and once she suggested an order for the stories, I could see and hear the stories as a whole and began editing to what I heard, as I have an easy time hearing from word to word and sentence to sentence in a story, but I hadn't yet learned how to hear the rhythms of a larger work. And once I heard, I began to manipulate those sights and sounds.

TSR: What does the word "story" mean to you?

EP:  Experience and thought and explanation.

TSR: Do you have a "reader" in mind when you write stories?

EP: Yes, and the reader is my top consideration when I'm editing. I spend so much time editing and revising because I have to control not only "what happened", but also the reader's experience of the happening, and the thoughts I want the experience to spark in the reader.

TSR: Is there anything you'd like to ask someone who has read your collection, anything at all?

EP: No, because I believe in the privacy of the reading experience (during and after), and I certainly don't want to intrude on that. It's the reader's book now.

TSR: How does it feel knowing that people are buying your book?

EP: It makes me worry. I hope they think they've gotten their money's worth. I've thought far more about libraries than bookstores, as I grew up in a town where books were in the library. I know the library I grew up in has a copy, and that pleases me, as it seems sort of like a gift to the ghost of my self.

TSR: What are you working on now?

EP: A complicated book that will be complicated in the correct way when I'm done with it.

TSR: What are the three most recent short story collections you've read?

EPCarol Shields' Collected Stories; Just After Sunset by Stephen King; Patricia Highsmith's Uncollected Stories (Nothing That Meets the Eye)