An Interview with Buffy Shutt

This story has a terrific speculative plot—what inspired this piece?

The image of a shell and the first line I am shell came to me one day. I didn’t know where the image would take me. Into the story I began to realize I was exploring the intersection of life and unexpected death through the lens of prayer and memory loss.

Which writers/body of work have been important to you as a reader and/or a writer?

Oh so many! Today I will say Proust, Eliot, Austen, Dickens, James.
The short story writers, Alice Munro, John Updike, Grace Paley, Nadine Gordimer, Tillie Olsen, Colm Toibin, Roxane Gay.
The poets Elizabeth Bishop, Emily Dickinson, Marianne Moore.
On Writing: Anne Lamott's Bird by Bird and Stephen King's On Writing.
And the many mystery writers I read obsessively and admire for reminding and inspiring me to keep the pages turning. Today I will call out Chandler, Hammett, Michael Connelly, George Pelecanos, Tana French, Denise Mina.

Read Buffy's short story "I Am a Shell."