Each day through February 1st, our upcoming application deadline, we’re taking a look at the faculty of UCR Low Residency MFA…today, it’s fiction professor Mary Yukari Waters. If you’ve not read Mary’s work, her O. Henry Prize winning short story “Egg Face” is a great place to start.
Keiko Nakajima was thirty years old, and she had never been on a date. In addition, she had never held a job. The latter might have been acceptable; even in these modern times, many middle-class women in the Kin-nanji district did not work outside the home. But such women were usually married.“Anything new with that Nakajima girl, the middle one?” some housewife might say while shelling peas with her children on the veranda, or gossiping with neighbors in one of the narrow alleyways leading to the open-air market. There never was. Keiko was spotted strolling in the dusk or running the occasional errand at the market; in the mornings, children on their way to school saw her feeding the caged canary on the upstairs balcony. Like some retired person, neighbors said. Like Buddha in a lotus garden.