The Rona Jaffe Foundation  //  Celebrating 25 Years of Supporting Emergent Women Writers

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1998
WINNER »

Stephanie Gunn

fiction

In 1998, in Florida, I bathed my mother’s body as if hers were mine. I walked with her when she walked her walker, when she walked her wheelchair, and, in time, I walked her in her chair. Every day was Florida and beautiful and sunny, and she was. And it was then, one day, out of the blue, that Rona wrote! And suddenly, like in a dream, I was at the Gramercy Park Hotel! What relief to meet others who talked like me, saw like me! Everyone a writer! Everyone as surprised as I! Shocked, really. We were! To be noticed by Rona! To meet her! She who, ahead of her time, celebrates a woman’s voice, gives us a future. Afterwards, Florida was different because of Rona. I wrote a book. My mother passed. Ditched us, as I called it back then, beside myself. I cared for my father. He passed. I wrote a book. Accomplishments? I’ve only tried to keep my loved ones alive but have hardly succeeded. Except that they’re in everything I write.