“Yalda liked to talk to me about her life in Shiraz before she moved to California. But only in the dark. Maybe her memory was clearer in the dark. Whatever it was, she told me things in the dark that she wouldn’t have ordinarily revealed about herself. I don’t think she realized that it gave me a kind of advantage.”
A Middle Eastern No won the inaugural Southword Fiction Chapbook Prize for Best International Entry. Jill Widner grew up in Sumatra, Indonesia, the setting of her novel in progress, A Green Raft on a Muddy Swell, where her father worked as a petroleum engineer in the 1960s. Her fiction has appeared in American Short Fiction, Kenyon Review Online, Kyoto Journal, North American Review, Shenandoah, Short Fiction, Wasafiri Online, and Willesden Herald: New Short Stories 3. She has been the recipient of grants and fellowships from Artist Trust, Hawthornden Castle, the MacDowell Colony, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and Yaddo. She is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and currently lives and teaches in Yakima, Washington.