NORTH CAROLINA L I T E R A R Y RE V I E W
BIG JOY Autumn (collage, 13x9) by Mona Wu
by Jude Whelchel
Ellen could only see what was right in front of her – the thurifer, censing a haze of frankincense and myrrh, and the priest, massive in his vestments. The organ piped the hymn her mother had loved most, words Ellen could not sing because she could not hold both the hymnal and the child, Georgie, in the lace gown, writhing and discontent on her lap. JUDE WHELCHEL is an Episcopal priest and writer in Asheville, NC. She has an MFA from Warren Wilson College. In 2014, in addition to being a finalist in the Betts competition, she was one of two first place winners for the 2014 Thomas Wolfe Fiction Prize, another competition sponsored by the North Carolina Writers’ Network. Her Wolfe Prize story is published in the 2015 issue of the Thomas Wolfe Review.
Selecting this story for honorable mention, NCLR Fiction Editor Liza Wieland observed, “‘Big Joy Family’ weaves past and present, infants and the elderly, Chinese and American culture into a moving and expansive story that poignantly captures our lives today: messy and crowded with birth and dying, sacrifice and love, punctuated by moments of intense sadness and profound illumination.”
Published on Jan 26, 2015
The North Carolina Literary Review (NCLR) is published annually by East Carolina University and the North Carolina Literary & Historical Ass...