I was doing some traveling the last couple of weeks. Upon my return, I was saddened to learn that two of my former Square Books colleagues had passed away unexpectedly. Elaine Cremaldi worked the day shift at the bookstore so I didn’t interact with her as much as I would have liked. But I do remember her to be a lot of fun, a dedicated worker, and someone with a sharp wit and tongue.
A more close coworker was Jim Higgins. He showed up one day after Padgett Powell had sent him to Oxford, Mississippi to study with Barry Hannah. To this day, I remember one of Jim’s short stories as being the most hilarious piece I’d ever read. Jim worked the Sunday shift with me and a couple of other guys. I could always gauge the quality of the previous night’s celebrations by the presence of sports drinks. If Higgins walked in on a Sunday morning with a bottle of Gatorade, then you knew it had been a wild night.
Like Elaine, Jim left us far too soon. In his memory,
Barry Hannah is presenting a creative writing workshop. The class starts tomorrow night on Thursday, June 11 and runs for four or five Thursdays following. If you’re in the Oxford area, this is a great way to improve your craft while also remembering a dedicated short fiction lover.