John Pistelli


“The Embrace”

My short story, “The Embrace”—in my view, the best of my short stories to be published so far—appears in Vol. 3 of Winter Tangerine Review, an ebook version of which you can download instantly for $10. To arouse your interest in this tale about mothers and daughters, mollusks and marriage, adolescence and the ocean, sex and nature, memory and desire, I give you a paragraph of my heroine’s reminiscences and a soundtrack:

My mother’s marriage to Mr. Stanley proved a lengthy struggle. He traveled incessantly, he buried his head in advertising, he buried his dick in waitresses and secretaries and junior copywriters and vice-chairpersons and kitchen staff. As a stepfather, he offered me needful distance. (A bad husband perhaps makes for a good stepfather.) My mother consoled herself with her bar and her bar patrons until he left, and then she got old and unfuckable, and then she was sick, and then she was dead, is dead, will always be dead. At their wedding reception, when they danced their first dance to their song, when they swayed laughing to good old “Leather and Lace,” I sobbed uncontrollably, my whole body wracked, as if something shook me hard by the shoulders.

2 comments on ““The Embrace”

  1. deborahbrasket
    26 January 2015

    Wow! I’m hooked. But I doubt I’ll put out the ten buck needed to read it. Now that it’s been published, have you considered making it available in whole on your blog, and in e-book form?

    • johnpistelli
      26 January 2015

      Hi Deborah! Thanks for reading and for your comments; I’m always happy to hear what resonated with people. I’m also very glad you enjoyed the excerpt from my story. In deference to the fine editors of the journal, I won’t make the story freely available to everyone at the moment, but if you contact me at johnppistelli at I will gladly share it with you.

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This entry was posted on 16 December 2014 by in fiction, writing and tagged , , , , , , .
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