I Knew You'd Be Lovely
Random House
Alethea Black
“I Knew You’d Be Lovely”

“I Knew You’d Be Lovely,” is from Alethea Black’s debut collection of short stories, I KNEW YOU’D BE LOVELY (Broadway Books/Random House, 2011). The collection was chosen as a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers pick for Fall 2011, and is an Oprah.com Book of the Week.


Black said this about her piece: I wrote this story while I was at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop for a summer. I’d taken up smoking while I was there – it seemed the thing to do – and my old Mac desktop conked out mid-story, possibly from nicotine exposure. (The only Mac to ever fail me, and I don’t blame the embattled machine one bit.) I had no car at the time, and I remember waiting with excruciating impatience for a bus to come and take me to the campus writing lab before I forgot everything. Once back at one of their computers, I feverishly tried to reconstruct what I’d written, which was utterly strange: I’m not used to working on stories with other people around, during normal business hours.


“Lovely” became my first published story when Joan Silber chose it to win the Inkwell Writing Competition in 2007. I will always be indebted to her and to the other lovelies at Inkwell.


Publisher’s Weekly said of the collection: “A sense of vulnerable restlessness is betrayed by the otherwise pragmatic characters of Black’s strong debut collection.”

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