I Want To Show You More
“Georgia The Whole Time”
“Georgia The Whole Time” is from Jamie Quatro’s debut story collection, I Want To Show You More (Grove/Atlantic). The collection was a New York Times Editors’ Choice and an Indie Next pick for March 2013. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in The O.Henry Prize Stories, The Kenyon Review, Tin House, Ploughshares, McSweeney’s, and elsewhere. She lives with her family in Georgia.
Quatro had to say about her story: Like the characters in “Georgia the Whole Time,” I live on Lookout Mountain, which is in fact divided into two states: Georgia and Tennessee. The continual interplay of division (different elementary schools, tax laws, etc) and confluence (shared Commons Park and Rec League) makes it rich territory in which to set my fiction; most of the stories in I Want To Show You More are set on Lookout.
I wrote “Georgia” shortly after moving here, in that awkward newcomer phase during which you find yourself constantly telling your story: where you’re from, why you moved, what you do, names and ages of kids. As difficult as the process of settling in and making friends was, I began to think: what if you moved to a new place with a secret you couldn’t tell, because if you did, no one would want to invest in getting to know you? How would that change the way you assimilated, the way you approached the landscape, the people in the neighborhood?
My stories often begin with this kind of collision: a real-life detail butting up against, and then merging with, an imagined situation.
From the New York Times Book Review: “[With its] impressive agility and inventiveness . . .I WANT TO SHOW YOU MORE is an obsessive first collection that feels like a fifth or sixth. It is a dogged, brutally thoughtful piece of work, and gives us a writer of great originality and apparent artistic maturity who seems to have come out of nowhere.”