The Oxford American
"Marnie surveys the house and everything in it daily knowing this could be the last time she is here, the last time she fills the deep tub with bubbles so she doesn’t notice the rust stains around the drain, or waters the large overgrown azaleas out front. It could be the last time she sits on the porch swing and watches the convicts who regularly pick up trash along the Interstate that runs just beyond the pasture where the neighbors have a few goats and cows, or the last time she settles into the too-soft mattress on Roland’s bed wishing she could feel him there beside her."
"The news would have been shocking anywhere but seemed especially so in a town like ours, or so we liked to believe: a young mother choosing to asphyxiate herself and infant son in the family Volvo while her husband was at work in the city and their daughter in pre-school at the Episcopal Church. Everyone knew who she was, had seen her at Whole Foods or Dunkin Donuts of the carpool line—the young fresh-faced woman in sweat pants and comfortable shoes, hair yanked up in a high ponytail—a look common enough to the pregnant and newly post-partum."
"I know people are amazed by all the wireless invisible stuff, and so am I, but I have to say I never got over being in awe of the real honest-to-God wires stretching across this country and around the world, those we can see and tend, those that can drop and jerk around like a snake, light up a mud puddle and fry the fragile life out of anybody."
"Debby Tyson is a mythical stereotype, the oldest child who stays home to tend the sick and dying mother while her sisters marry and have prosperous lives elsewhere. They pity her, she can tell."
"Dear Dr. Love, By now you have gotten several letters from me and this will probably be the last. I don’t care that you never respond. In fact, I’m glad that you don’t, because if you did, a response would show a weakness in your professional ethics."
"Ann has not been back to her childhood home in over two years, not since the death of her father, but her brother, Jimmy, has updated her on all the changes he and his new wife have made. Ann has not met the new wife but could tell from the pictures Jimmy sent at Christmas that she looks a lot like the ones before her: short, blond, young, some pedigree or another Jimmy will find worth telling."
"Because Paula Blake is planning something secret, she feels she must account for her every move and action, overcompensating in her daily chores and agreeing to whatever her husband and children demand. Of course I’ll pick up the dry cleaning, drive the kids, swing by the drugstore. This is where the murderer always screws up in a movie, way too accommodating, too much information."
"I have always been big on the end justifying the means, the Karmic shuffle of it all—a path that allows for missteps and interesting discoveries, mistakes and second chances. A person who has made a lot of mistakes in life would be a fool to profess otherwise, and though I am a lot of things, a fool is not one."
The American Scholar
"It is snowing, a freak blinding storm that likely will shut things down for days. Thank God. Just last night under a clear winter sky, I had wished for a sign, or at least some kind of divine intervention between me and the matchmakers of the world—all those well-meaning friends who are far more upset over my single status than I am. They drop by unannounced to offer me comfort and advice and descriptions of various men as if they were hot entrées on a silver platter."
Essays & Interviews
The American Scholar
"My dad often told a story from his days as a mail carrier where he confronted a little boy no more than five perched up in a tree in a yard severely marked by poverty and neglect. The kid looked down with dirty face and clothes and said, 'Whatcha want, you old son of a bitch?'”
"A Conversation with Jill McCorkle"
The Swanee Review
Jill McCorkle discusses her career and life as a writer with The Sewanee Review.