You Know What is Right
1985, North Point Press
Fewer copies of this book, published by North Point Press in 1985, sold than any of the other collections of my short-shorts. Maybe would-be buyers were turned off by the flowered-wallpaper cover (a total mismatch with the book’s contents), though I sometimes think that the book had sales problems because it has too many of what I’ve since called ‘gratuitously offensive’ tales. Maybe so. I’ve elminated most of those tales from later collections, but as I was paging through this collection, I came across one of those offensive little tales that seems particularly relevant today–and, by today, I mean since September 11, 2001. The story I have included reflects back to another war time–the Korean War–and tries to explore the impact of war on boys’ consciousness and behavior.
Best known for his short-short stories about “the boys,” Jim Heynen has published widely as a writer of poems, novels, nonfiction, and short fiction.