Losing them, fixing them, forgetting to put them in
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Sigrid Nunez’s most recent book is Sempre Susan: A Memoir of Susan Sontag. She is the author of six novels, the first of which, A Feather on the Breath of God, was a finalist for both the PEN/Hemingway Award for First Fiction and the Barnes & Noble Discover New Writers Award. She is the 2012 writer-in-residence at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, New York.
An inventive imagination was a gift of the gods — or a curse if you couldn’t control it. Elsie would sometimes start talking, telling a story, say, and get so carried away, piling it on so thick, flying off on so many tangents, that she might as well have been speaking in tongues. If you pointed this out to her, her response would be to clam up.