MADISON VAUGHN ’21
Trinity College Professor of Creative Writing Susanne Davis has recently nished her collection of short stories, The Appointed Hour, after ten years of writing.
Dedicated to her brother, who had recently died of a drug overdose, the novel is a collection of 12 short stories set in rural Connecticut. It was inspired by Davis’ childhood, where she grew up on a dairy farm; The rural community holds an im- portant place in her heart.
Throughout her ten years of writing, Davis says the stories kept coming back to her, and she was finally able to come to a greater understanding about the stories, the characters, and what their voices wanted to say. “It was about paying attention to what I felt the characters would want to say if they could talk for themselves,” said Davis.
Davis gave a preview of a few of her short stories. In The Appointed Hour, the main character dis- covers that someone she knew was a serial killer. Davis’ story was loosely based off of the last person given the death penalty in Connecticut, as it was someone the author went to school with. Merciful Like the Father is about a Catholic nun’s visit to a town who had seen a lot of recent tragedy, and within the story, the townspeople begin to rethink violence and per- ceive the town differenty. Lastly, Davis mentioned a story focuses on the rst ancestors of the Connecticut rural land, which was by her childhood dairy farm that had been in the family since the 1800s.\
The novel has a concurring theme of the appointed hour. “We all come here with a purpose and a time for our purpose, and these stories show the characters finding and deciding what to do with their purpose,” said Davis.
She hopes the collection will attract a young audience. She finds when teaching, her students often inspire her by sharing their world views and judgements. She believes young audience. She finds when teaching, her students often inspire her by sharing their world views and judgements. She believes young readers will be able to relate to these stores.
The Appointed Hour is currently available for preorder and will be out in print Dec. 7, 2017. Davis will be doing her first reading of the novel on Dec. 12 at the Mark Twain house. Admission will be $5, one half of the money will go to the Mark Twain house and the other to a program in Eastern Connecticut for helping those who suffer from drug addictions.
“I hope the collection as a whole sheds a light on a changing rural America and gives a voice to those who have been forgotten,” said Davis. “I’m happy it’s having its own appointed hour.”