Jessica Treadway’s novel Lacy Eye was published by Grand Central Publishing/Hachette Books in March 2015. Her story collection Please Come Back To Me received the Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction and was published by University of Georgia Press in 2010. Her previous books are Absent Without Leave and Other Stories and her first novel, And Give You Peace. She is a professor at Emerson College in Boston.
How I Got Published
I began publishing my fiction thirty-one years ago, placing my first short story in The Hudson Review. This was before platforms, before social media, and before e-readers; it was even before computers, at least for most people, I think. That first submitted story was a typescript. I published that story in 1984, another in 1986, another in 1990 and one in 1992, the year my first book of stories came out. I was submitting stories all along; I believe that the 1990 publication, in The Atlantic, helped a great deal in getting me a contract to publish that first collection.
And I believe that the collection helped in the publication of my first novel, and so on. My point is that I built my career slowly, over time, not by choice but because that was the way it happened to unfold. Publication was not the most important thing to me then (and still isn’t); I do write to be read, but it is primarily important to me that the writing itself be as good as I can make it. My first three books came out with nine years between each; my fourth has just come out five years after the third. I’m hoping that the time before the next book will be even shorter, but not if it comes at the cost of having a book I am proud to publish. However long it takes, it takes. I am perhaps still naïve enough to believe that a work’s quality will always trump how fancy a website a writer might have, or how many followers on Facebook.
When Hanna and Joe send their awkward daughter Dawn off to college, they hope she will finally “come into her own.” So when Dawn brings her new boyfriend, Rud, to her sister’s wedding, her parents try to suppress their troubling impressions of him for Dawn’s sake. Not long after, Hanna and Joe suffer a brutal home invasion, resulting in Joe’s death and Hanna’s severe injury and memory loss.
Rud is convicted of the crime, but Dawn also faces scrutiny and suspicion. Determined to exonerate her daughter and condemn her husband’s murderer, Hanna resolves to recall that traumatic night so she can testify in the retrial. But as memories resurface, Hanna faces the unsettling question of how well she knows her own daughter—or whether she ever did.
For more on Jessica Treadway visit her here.