Daphne Kalotay discusses the first pages of her award-winning short story, “Relativity,” from her recently released collection The Archivists. We talk about using humor in otherwise heavy material, the power of blending stories, how language frames a character’s mindset and personal tragedies, and how fiction conveys powerful truths, often above and beyond that of nonfiction.
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Daphne Kalotay is the author of the fiction collections Calamity and Other Stories, shortlisted for the Story Prize, and The Archivists, winner of 2021 The Grace Paley Prize, as well as three award-winning novels: the national and international bestseller Russian Winter, which won the Writers' League of Texas Fiction Award; Sight Reading, winner of the New England Society Book Award in Fiction, and Blue Hours, a Massachusetts Book Awards "Must Read." Daphne received her M.F.A. from Boston University's Creative Writing Program, where her stories won the Florence Engel Randall Fiction Prize and a Transatlantic Review Award from the Henfield Foundation, before earning her Ph.D. in Modern and Contemporary Literature. She has received fellowships from the Christopher Isherwood Foundation, Yaddo, Bogliasco, and MacDowell and has taught literature and creative writing at Princeton University, Middlebury College, Boston University, and Harvard University. She lives in Somerville, Massachusetts.