Jessica Lee Richardson, assistant professor, Department of English
Jessica Lee Richardson’s debut collection of short stories, It Had Been Planned and There Were Guides, teems with double magic. Families of spiders, monsters in triplicate and panels of bleacher-sitting grandfathers (who live in a diaphragm!) cohabitate with a starker, more familiar kind of strange in a hyper-real and living tapestry of teenage porn stars, lovelorn factory workers and art world auctioneers. These stories explore the absurd in real spaces and the real in absurd spaces, seeking a way into something else entirely.