Caitlin Horrocks, “Zolaria”

TINYCThe summer after their fifth grade year, two unpopular girls create their own world. 

(from This is Not Your City)

It is July and we are a miraculous age. We have been sprung from our backyards, from the neighborhood park, from the invisible borders that rationed all our other summers. We are old enough to have earned a larger country, and young enough to make it larger still.

I got this story collection last night at a swap in which everyone brought a book they hate, it seemed like, or at least something they would never go looking for. It was kind of sad, but I get it. It’s hard to give away your favorite books. I had helped my friend carefully select This Is Not Your City (so I cheated a little bit). I should probably give it back to her once I’m finished.

Anyhow, I liked this story a lot. It’s so much more than two misfits who create their own world. It’s also the story of cruelty and death, as well as the narrator’s later life (marriage and children). It spans decades. I have no idea how Horrocks manages to fit all of this into one twelve-page story and make it coherent, but she does. I’m really impressed by the writing, the honesty. You should read it. You can do that here.


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