My short story “Sir” was published in Irish literary journal Crannóg, Issue 46 (Winter 2017). This is my first print publication outside the United States and first short fiction accepted to a journal in years — so it’s very exciting to me and I’m honored to be included.
The story, “Sir,” is a short account of a misanthropic Bay Area techie’s violent confrontation while on a day trip to Half Moon Bay with his girlfriend. Here’s a short excerpt:
It occurred to me – I remember thinking exactly this – that the way police use the word “sir” is a perverse inversion of that word’s conventional meaning. “Sir,” which always conveys social distance, is usually an honorific implying respect, even nobility on the part of the recipient, and servility on the part of the person using it. When a cop calls you “sir,” though, you’d better watch out – what they mean by “sir” is something like a pure reversal – something more like “subject”: an objectified human disconnected from their social context on which the instrument of authority is prepared to exercise power to enforce the social order. Which they are permitted – no, encouraged – to use violent means to maintain.
Crannóg is based in Galway, on the west coast of Ireland, and has been going for fifteen years; it’s said to be one of the most respected journals in the country. I found Crannóg to be refreshingly unafraid of writing that strives to evoke strong feeling, and writing that takes risks that are of a more vulnerable nature than the more language-centered experimentation that many other journals are interested in.
On a personal note, having some distant family roots in Ireland and Scotland, and important early influences from writers from those countries, makes this publication deeply satisfying and validating. I’m so grateful to Crannóg for finding a place for the story in their journal.