On Lauren Groff's “L. DeBard and Aliette”

by: Caitlin Horrocks

I originally read this story in the 2006 Summer Fiction Issue of The Atlantic, a magazine whose student writing contest I had won the previous winter. I was wandering the aisles of a grocery store in a strange city, where my boyfriend had just abandoned me to run an errand to an ex-girlfriend’s house. I perused the magazine rack, scanned the table of contents of The Atlantic. My winning story had been considered for publication, but had not made the cut. The famous authors listed I could forgive for bumping me, on grounds of their fame. But who was this “Lauren Groff”? I’d never heard of her. A newbie, like me. Surely, she was the one who had taken my spot.

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