Patty Yumi Cottrell, who “opens up fresh lines of questioning in the old interrogations of identity, the politics of belonging, and the problem of other minds,” was born in Korea and raised in Pittsburgh, Chicago, and Milwaukee. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Guernica, BOMB, Gulf Coast, Black Warrior Review, and other places. Her debut novel, Sorry to Disrupt the Peace, was published by McSweeney’s last year. She lives and works in Los Angeles.
An excerpt from Sorry to Disrupt the Peace:
At the time of his death I was a thirty-two-year-old woman, single, childless, irregularly menstruating, college educated, and partially employed. If I looked in the mirror, I saw something upright and plain. Or perhaps hunched over and plain, it depended. Long, long ago I made peace with my plainness. I made peace with piano lessons that went nowhere because I had no natural talent or aptitude for music. I made peace with the coarse black hair that grows out of my head and hangs down stiffly to my shoulders. One day I even made peace with my uterus. Living in New York City for five years, I had discovered the easiest way to distinguish oneself was to have a conscience or a sense of morality, since most people in Manhattan were extraordinary thieves of various standing, some of them multi-billionaires. Over time, I became a genius at being ethical, I discovered that it was my true calling. I made little to no money as a part-time after-school supervisor of troubled young people, with the side work of ordering paper products for the toilets. After my first week, the troubled people gave me a nickname. Read More