Linda Norton

Linda Norton was born in Boston and now lives in New York. Three of her stories recently appeared in The Northwest Review.

Working Notes, Linda Norton:

It's been five years since I wrote Linen Song. It was meant as an anticipatory lament for the death of the mother (a mother still very much alive). Now it haunts me as a series of tableaux weirdly prescient of another death, the death of my brother Joseph at the age of 24.
I think the tone of Linen Song is relatively calm and stately; there is order, resolution, ritual, a natural progression of things. But death of the young is unnatural, it wrecks the equilibrium in a way that death of a parent does not.
Now, having been in the presence of death, I am bound to write more about the physicality of it, the way the body besieged disintegrates, makes itself a place where the soul cannot abide. I am forced to acknowledge the nature of death in a hospital, the way that doctors, nurses, priests, machines (and even, in the case of AIDS, the media) serve as a sort of chorus to the waning of life. Now writing about a death is an extension of the tossing and turning that one suffers at night, remembering a life supersaturated with meaning.

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