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Clown Girl: A Novelby Monica Drake
Welcome to the book of my arch enemy. "Rival" would be a nicer word, but let's be honest.
In 1991, in Tom Spanbauer's kitchen, where our whole workshop of beginning writers still fit around his dinky kitchen table, every week Monica Drake was the star. The stories she read to us... about sitting all night locked inside the Portland Art Museum, alone to guard the ancient mummy of a Chinese empress, staring at a dish filled with the preserved contents of the mummy's stomach — mostly ancient pumpkin seeds. As Monica talked about being locked behind steel gates and barred doors and bulletproof Plexiglas, the rest of Tom's students, we'd forget to breathe.
Writing this introduction, I'm not doing an old friend a favor — I'm paying a decade-old debt. This isn't charity or flattery — this is honesty.
Writers are nothing if not rivals, but competition as good as Monica Drake is a blessing.
Clown Girl is more than a great book. Clown Girl is its own reality.
We should all have an arch enemy this brilliant.
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