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I Sailed with Magellan (Novel Excerpt)
by Stuart Dybek

I recalled the afternoon when the two of us stood beating erasers, and Camille confided that she’d done penance for stories – stories that I’ll never know if she wrote or only imagined writing. She’d wanted me to tell her a secret from my dreams, a secret from my dreams I hadn’t had as yet, and so I didn’t quite understand what she was after.

“It’s about feeling,” Camille had insisted.

I didn’t understand then that she was talking about risk.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:  Stuart Dybek is the author of three books of fiction: I Sailed With Magellan, The Coast of Chicago, and Childhood and Other Neighborhoods. Dybek has also published two collections of poetry: Streets in Their Own Ink and Brass Knuckles.  His fiction, poetry, and nonfiction have appeared in The New Yorker, Harper’s, The Atlantic, Poetry, Tin House, and many other magazines, and have been widely anthologized, including work in both Best American Fiction and Best American Poetry.  Among Dybek’s numerous awards are a PEN/Malamud Prize “for distinguished achievement in the short story,” a Lannan Award, a Whiting Writers Award, an Award from the Academy of Arts and Letters, several O.Henry Prizes, and fellowships from the NEA and the Guggenheim Foundation. In 2007 Dybek was awarded a John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Fellowship.

Illustration: Chalk drawing found at Kidsart.com