Four Cheers for Jean Thompson


I don’t like dark, bleak things. Jean Thompson does not seem to either. She is editor of the spring issue of “Ploughshares,” a terrific literary magazine published at Emerson College in Boston, Massachusetts. Each editor writes an Introduction and I thought hers exceptional. If you are a reader or a writer, read this, and be uplifted. It provides a reader’s resurrection for Easter.

“The writers included in this issue have not gotten the message that they are engaged in some quaint or dying craft.” That sentence deserves three cheers. Not only for its honest and accurate optimism, for the use of the word “gotten”. I like gotten almost as much as I like “things.”

“Writers still grapple (another great verb) or dance with the world we live in, reflect or distort it, embrace or escape it. The short story is still with us, as difficult to kill off as Rasputin.”

Four cheers for Jean Thompson. I look forward to reading the issue.