Fic­tion: Turkey Sea­son

Poets and Writers - - The Literary Life -

“I would still like to know things. Never mind facts. Never mind the­o­ries, ei­ther,” the nar­ra­tor states in Alice Munro’s short story “The Turkey Sea­son.” The com­ment refers to a mys­te­ri­ously heated al­ter­ca­tion be­tween co­work­ers that oc­curred decades ago, when the nar­ra­tor was four­teen and spent the hol­i­day sea­son work­ing as a turkey gut­ter. Al­though the de­tails of the dra­matic fight re­main un­known and con­tinue to haunt her, the bulk of the story rests on de­scrip­tions of mun­dane rec­ol­lec­tions: learn­ing how to clean tur­keys; co­work­ers’ per­sonal lives and habits; is­sues sur­round­ing labor and class as well as gen­der and sex­ual dy­nam­ics; and the ex­pres­sion of each per­son in a pho­to­graph of the work crew. Take in­spi­ra­tion from Munro’s story and write a short story with an am­bi­gu­ity at its core and a nar­ra­tor who looks back on a pe­riod of time dur­ing a hol­i­day sea­son. Use this larger theme of puz­zling over some­thing un­re­solved to ex­plore the nu­ances of an un­cer­tain time in ado­les­cence when per­sonal value sys­tems are ten­ta­tively be­ing formed.

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