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"My Dear Emily"

Madame de Jurjewicz
On one of my good panels at Lunacon last week (or two), I was wracking my brains to remember the name of the very subtle Joanna Russ epistolatory story about the Victorian schoolfriends - yeah, it's got vampires & lesbians, but I first read it at the where most of that went right by me, and it just gave me a thrill, a chill, and an influence. Lisa & Josh just wrote to remind me that it's "My Dear Emily."

Has anyone else read it? (And if not, where can you find it?! It ought to be in print!)

Comments

( 18 comments — Leave a comment )
sartorias
Mar. 26th, 2008 03:59 am (UTC)
Damn, that sounds good.
vschanoes
Mar. 26th, 2008 04:10 am (UTC)
I feel like I read this a long time ago, but I can't remember where--do share the info when you get it.
michele_blue
Mar. 26th, 2008 04:11 am (UTC)
Looks like it's still in print as part of the 1987 horror anthology The Dark Descent, edited by David Hartwell.

I'm definitely going to look it up!
cija
Mar. 26th, 2008 04:16 am (UTC)
It's also in The Zanzibar Cat, which is not in print but can be found at fine used bookstores everywhere (or from Amazon for pennies for those whose used bookstores are not so fine.)
kathmuse
Mar. 26th, 2008 04:24 am (UTC)
Not sure it's still in print
The story is from 1962, I used to have a copy of Great Tales of Fantasy and Science Fiction in the 80's which had it. It's also been in The Dark Descent, edited by David Hartwell.

I'm not sure if it's in any in-print anthologies.

kath
desayunoencama
Mar. 26th, 2008 09:15 am (UTC)
Re: Not sure it's still in print
It's also in Stefan Dziemianowicz' GIRLS NIGHT OUT anthology, published by Barnes & Noble Books, which I think is still in print (although only available through B&N obviously).

It was also in the Margaret Weis TREASURES OF FANTASY anthology from Harper, but that may be o.p. by now, too.

(Since I've been out of the country for nearly a decade, my references are a bit behind the times... :->)
ellen_kushner
Mar. 26th, 2008 02:54 pm (UTC)
Re: Not sure it's still in print
"in Stefan Dziemianowicz' GIRLS NIGHT OUT anthology, published by Barnes & Noble Books" --which I actually have a story in, myself! I suspected it might be, and meant to check last night, but it's on a very high shelf, and I was too tired to get the ladder out . . . . (But who needs a ladder when one has LS's prodigious memory?)

Now I just have to check to see which ending they printed (see grahamsleight's comment below).
gwynnega
Mar. 26th, 2008 05:44 am (UTC)
I hadn't read that story in years. I just got my copy of The Zanzibar Cat off the bookshelf. Russ prefaces the story in this edition: "Some day Hammer Films will make a movie out of this story and I will die of bliss."
grahamsleight
Mar. 26th, 2008 07:18 am (UTC)
"My Dear Emily" trivia - or in fact not trivia. The original magazine ending was one tacked onto the story against Russ's wishes. The author's preferred ending - which is indeed far superior - is reproduced in The Zanzibar Cat but not in The Dark Descent. (If you've got the right ending, the last word is "late"; for the magazine ending, the last word is "her".)
michele_blue
Mar. 26th, 2008 12:52 pm (UTC)
Oh, good to know. Thank you!
ellen_kushner
Mar. 26th, 2008 02:56 pm (UTC)
Not trivial at all! Now must go check my copy of Stefan Dziemianowicz' GIRLS NIGHT OUT anthology, published by Barnes & Noble Books, (which I have on my brag shelf because I've got a story in it) to see which ending it's got. Thank you very much for that information!
ellen_kushner
Mar. 27th, 2008 03:12 am (UTC)
Hartwell Explains:
I asked David Hartwell about this, and he wrote: "I did in fact use the first printed text, and got it from Joanna. Those were the days when Joanna was [ill], so she probably forgot the ending switch for a while. She didn't mention it. And I first read the story in the original Zanzibar Cat collection, but didn't notice the text from F&SF was different. Back in the older days, this kind of thing happened a lot, and many writers didn't care all that much one way of another. Seems long ago now. ... I am just grateful it is still in print."

mouseworks
Mar. 27th, 2008 01:11 am (UTC)
It may be in Zanzibar Cats
Yeah, loved it. The whole vampire as sympathetic creature hadn't quite taken off when it was first out.
thumbelinablues
Mar. 27th, 2008 10:51 pm (UTC)
This is terribly off-topic -- although now I want to read that story! Megan here, Liz's and Eugene's barnacle from the KGB, and also the current treasurer of the Columbia University Science Fiction Society. We've just scheduled our end-of-year banquet for Saturday, May 3rd, at 7pm, and we would love to have you and Delia as guests. We will feed you very tasty good, and there will be geeky games, possibly genre-related arts and crafts, and students who like to talk about interesting things. It would be so great if you could come. :0)
ellen_kushner
Mar. 31st, 2008 01:52 am (UTC)
CUSFS
Hi, Megan! We are honored!

Sorry not to have gotten back to you sooner - we're still waiting to learn whether or not an old friend from Boston will be visiting that weekend.

Oh, and can we continue this by email (where I'm less likely to lose it)? I'm kushner.ellen
atgmai
ldotcom
for Business stuff.
foresthouse
Feb. 14th, 2009 05:54 pm (UTC)
*randomly commenting months later on your journal*

Thanks for the info in the comments here, because a friend just told me of this story and I was trying to track it down. Now I know where to look! (Aside from it being rumored to be a good story, my name is Emily, so of course I have to read it. :)
ellen_kushner
Feb. 14th, 2009 07:46 pm (UTC)
Now, this is eerie. I was just wondering the other day where I had put that Russ query info . . . and here you are to remind me! The world is a wonderful place.
foresthouse
Feb. 14th, 2009 08:13 pm (UTC)
It must be fate! You can thank my friend Michael Dirda, the great literary guru, who informed me of the existence of this story with my name in it and caused me to go looking for it.
( 18 comments — Leave a comment )

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