Back when I was still an unduly naive college student, I took a fiction writing course. There were probably fifteen people in the class. Each week we would read and critique a different student’s writing. The stories were well-wound, spanned the genre gamut, and often left me satisfied. Except for one week. A story was up for critique that didn’t satisfy me. Not at all. Instead, it made me jealous.
The story, titled “The Pulling” was a haunting, excellently paced story about female mutilation experienced by a Westernized young girl of African descent. It was too good, really. While everyone else in the class was still groping the ether to find their voice, it seemed like this student had already found theirs.
Andrés Vaamonde is a writer and editor born and raised in New York, New York. He was awarded the Foyle International Young Poet of the Year Award in 2012, a silver medal at the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards in 2014, and, most importantly, several dozen youth sports participation trophies. His journalism and fiction appears in Fortune Magazine, OZY Media, Quckoo Quarterly, Black Fox Literary Magazine, and Yahoo. He has taught in a maximum security prison, served as a firefighter at the Cayuga Heights Fire Department, and worked construction in Spain. Currently, he co-leads writing workshops for teens at the Writopia Lab, is an assistant editor at Adolphus Press, and an editorial assistant at Soho Press. He graduated this past May from Cornell University, where he first began working on his as-of-yet unpublished first novel.
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