“Green Card,” an essay published in Amoskeag Journal this past April, was dubbed “notable” by the staff (and editor Cheryl Strayed) of the annual Best American Essays anthology. Essay author Aine Greaney lives in Newburyport, Mass.
The Amoskeag Journal spoke with her via email his week.
Amoskeag Journal: How would you describe your writing journey?
Aine Greaney: As a voracious reader raised in a bilingual family, language was always my joy and plaything. So writing was always something I dreamed of doing. However, like many writers, I found a million reasons not to do it until I was past my .. ahem … 30th birthday. I never completed or published anything until after I had moved to America in the late 1980s. As I have always worked a day job –and who hasn’t?– my writing has had to be done in fits and starts. I’m also a bit of a binge writer. I can go away for the weekend and bang out 100 pages, then only write about three pages for the rest of that week. I’ve been writing and publishing more than usual lately. I’m also very comfortable as a “bi-textual” writer, in that I switch back and forth between non-fiction and fiction with great ease.
AJ: How does it feel to be named “notable” in such a prestigious anthology?
AG: It feels wonderful, of course, and perhaps doubly wonderful for an immigrant writer to have my work 1. Published in a New England literary magazine such as Amoskeag and 2. Named as “notable” among the annual “Best American.” My “notable” essay, “Green Card” recounts the day I drove in the rain to the local INS office to renew my green card, which is shorthand for our legal-resident status in the U.S. When an essay like that gets cited, it means that my work can transcend personal experience or national origin to actually speak to a universal or wider readership. Of course, it’s also very flattering to be on the list with writers whom I myself read and admire, such as John McPhee, Claire Messud, David Sedaris and Mary Gordon.
AJ: Where else can people find your work?
AG: My website has links to some of my online-published essays and blog posts (Salon.com, Boston Globe Magazine, Forbes), short stories and books www.ainegreaney.com. I’m also on Facebook and Twitter.
You can purchase Greaney’s essay (along with the rest of the issue) here.