Wednesday, March 05, 2003
Hi Neil,
Happy belated Pancake Tuesday (or as we call it in Louisiana, Mardi Gras)! I just received the new McSweeney's yesterday and read your story, Closing Time. I loved it! I just have one question. In it you write about a green hand that haunted the school of the narrator. I am positive I read that story by you somewhere else. Did you post an excerpt with the legend of the green hand on this website or was it published somewhere else?

Shrove Tuesday... and I never thought to make pancakes either. (Proper British pancakes, the kind you toss.) I posted that paragraph about the Green Hand in this journal when I wrote it.... talking about how I used the Google Search Engine (TM) to look for Green Hand stories, and discovered that the only one out there was written by my art teacher from when I was 9, Miss Krailing, who had gone on to become a children's writer.

I would have given you a link, except a look at the archives of the journal showed that they're kind of broken right now, so I wrote a nice letter to the Powers That Be asking them to repair them instead.

The McSweeney's Mammoth Treasury of Thrilling Tales, which Michael Chabon edited, is a wonderful book of stories with plots, and I felt like my own story was almost too polite in that company; Michael has asked me for a ghost story, and my preference in ghost stories is for that Robert Aickman feeling that something's wrong but you don't know what it is; shabby genteel rather than in your face.

Terrific Howard Chaykin illustrations throughout (except for Harlan Ellison's story).

I think the mass-market edition should be out in a few weeks.