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91-Word Memoir Contest—2016

The Inspiration: This annual contest celebrates longtime Gotham student and writer Norma Crosier who died a few days short of her 91st birthday.

The Challenge: Tell a story from your life in 91 words or fewer.


I inherited one of my mother’s most notable features: green eyes. On this day, her eyes brighten as I share my plans to attend a dance in DC with friends. She is elated. I: her 39 year old daughter, having recently left the convent after 20 years. She: a devout Catholic but hopelessly romantic. My leave­taking promises cozy conversations about potential dating prospects. She probes: “When?” “Friday night.” “What kind of dance?” “It’s for women. All women.” Our green eyes lock. Arctic pause. “It’s good your father’s dead.”

Patricia Dwyer Baltimore, Maryland

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