As a reader, I felt immediately transported; I marveled at the weight of each phrase or sentence, the way the writing seemed to have layers of meaning. The voice is powerful, unpredictable, and vibrant. I hope the author expands upon this piece to create a larger narrative.
—Deborah Feldman, Fall 2014 Orlando Creative Nonfiction Finalist Judge
Congratulations to Julia Laxer on the selection of her essay, “Letter to My Sister in a Mental Hospital,” for the Fall 2014 Orlando Creative Nonfiction Prize! “Letter to My Sister in a Mental Hospital” will be published in Issue No. 17 of the Los Angeles Review.
We asked Julia to talk about her piece and to tell us what publication means to her. She replied:
“Letter to My Sister in a Mental Hospital” is about the relationship between two sisters who are separated by the caustic walls of madness, false memory and institutionalization. For me, it is an epistolary tale of fragmented grief, possibility and love.
Each time I am published I feel like my narrative matters. I feel like all the people I’ve met and all the places I’ve been matter, and that my life matters, and that I need to challenge myself to submit more, and call myself a writer.
Julia Laxer lives for the stories and writes in the afternoons from a rickety desk in Portland, Oregon. She was raised south of the Mason-Dixon line, near Manassas Battlefield, in Virginia, and in her early twenties moved to Atlanta, Georgia. Once she realized the Deep South was just too hot, she fled Atlanta for adventures in San Francisco’s seedy Tenderloin, Oakland’s eternal summer and the Great Northwest. She recently published flash-fiction in Litro Magazine and a memoir in Prose & Lore. Her poems appear in So to Speak: a feminist journal of language and art. She is working on making sense of all this wanderlust.