The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: Bonnie ZoBell’s “What Happened Here”


Excerpt from What Happened Here

     By mid-October, talk of the crash had subsided. John’s depression had not. A half hour would elapse between his buttoning his shirt in the morning and then finally pulling his pants on for work. He only left the house when he had to. No matter how hard he fought, the blackness inside grew. I didn’t know what to do. There were his sisters out of state, but if he wasn’t telling them, should I? He stopped talking whenever I suggested a therapist.
      He paced, the spark gone from his eyes, signed so much I felt guilty if I wasn’t constantly at his side. “I’m trying,” he said. “I talk to God, I pray, I write affirmations every chance I get.”

This selection comes from Bonnie Zobell’s collection What Happened Here, available from Press 53. Purchase your copy here!

Bonnie ZoBell won first place in the 2015 Next Generation Indie Press Award in the Novella category for her linked collection with Press 53, What Happened Here: a novella and stories. Her fiction chapbook The Whack-Job Girls was published in March 2013. She’s won a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship in fiction, the Capricorn Novel Award, and a PEN Syndicated Fiction Award. She’s received fellowships at The MacDowell Colony, the Corporation of Yaddo, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Dorland Mountain Arts Colony, Villa Montalvo, and the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation. She has an MFA from Columbia University, currently teaches at San Diego Mesa College and is working on a novel. Visit her at

Sarah Einstein is the author of Mot: A Memoir (University of Georgia Press 2015), Remnants of Passion (Shebooks 2014). Her essays and short stories have appeared in The Sun, Ninth Letter, PANK and other journals. Her work has been awarded a Pushcart Prize, a Best of the Net, and the AWP Prize in Creative Nonfiction. She is also the prose editor for Stirring: A Literary Collective and the special projects editor for Brevity Magazine. She is a professor of creative writing at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.


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