With everybody waiting patiently for the 2015 Journey Prize winner to be announced, we thought we’d do a Throwback Thursday of Andrew Hood’s “Manning”, which appeared in PRISM international, 49.4 and was a finalist for the 2012 Journey Prize. The Writers’ Trust described the story as follows, “After months of trying to sell the worthless collection of sports cards his no-good father left behind, a boy is unprepared for an encounter with the “pile of human being” who wants to buy a card.” Wrought with a strong, idiosyncratic voice that lures the reader in, “Manning” is just as much a story about a boy and his estranged father as it is about a boy and his mother. Below is a small excerpt of the story that can be found in our digital archives.
“I’m gonna hit the can like it hit me first,” my mom says. “Man the booth, Pickle.” She squats, ducks under the table. Pops back up on the other side, and, jingling her keys, disappears down the aisles of other booths.
“Hit it like it hit me first” is one of my mom’s classic phrases. She’s been using it since I can remember being embarrassed of her. It’s an okay one, as far as go-to phrases go: not quite smart and not quite funny, but just enough of both of those to elicit at least a smirk. Unless you’ve heard the hell out of it, then your mouth screws another way. “Night, Pickle. I’m gonna hit the hay like it hit me first. Don’t stay up too late.” “Buckle up, Pickle, and let’s hit the road like it hit us first.” “I’m not against you drinking, Pickle, but keep in mind how your dad would hit that bottle like it hit him first.” She’ll be here all week, folks. (53)
Best of luck to this year’s Journey Prize finalists, especially former Prose Editor Anna Ling Kaye for her piece “Red Egg and Ginger” that originally appeared in Prairie Fire.
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