Flash fiction lives between poetry and its expansive mother, long-form narrative fiction. In its infancy, this abbreviated form was limited to 1,000-1,500 words, but as, in all things art, experimental subsets spread like phragmites along the Chester River. There’s “micro fiction” at 100 words and “sudden fiction” at 750 words, all challenging the writer the writer to come though in on a micro-scale.
In other words, it’s brief, and for it to work, an author must condense meaning and feeling in a quick narrative that often implies a larger story but is complete as it stands.
On Wednesday, October 18 at 6 pm. Galena author—and local flower farmer— Lisa Lyn Biggar will read from her novella-in-flash as part of the Bookplate/Kitchen author event series.
Her recently published book, Unpasteurized, is an intergenerational story about her family farm in Pennsylvania and reads as a series of short flash events with Biggar’s grandmother as the connective narrative tissue.
Writer Dan Crawley, author of Straight Down the Road, The Wind it Swirls praised Biggar’s flash novella as “breath(ing) new life into this form, deftly creating one unforgettable flash fiction after another, revealing the vivid intergenerational characters of a family, with their fierce love, bittersweet regrets, and a young narrator who longs for another path on life’s journey.”
In an interview in Little Patuxent Review, where she is also the Fiction Editor, she said, “I just knew I had to record the stories she had been telling me for so long. I needed permanent documentation of them, and I also knew I had to capture her voice, which was the voice of a true storyteller filled with joy and sadness and all those places of contemplation in between. She took the recordings so seriously. She knew that I would be writing her story one day.”
The Spy recently interviewed Biggar via Zoom and talked about flash fiction, how she developed her book, and how the form has given insight into writing her longer novel.
This video is approximately seven minutes in length. For more about Lisa Lynn Biggar, go here.