The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: Almonds are Members of the Peach Family by Stephanie Sauer

This selection, chosen by Managing Editor Krista Cox, is from Almonds are Members of the Peach Family by Stephanie Sauer, released by Noemi Press in 2019. 

When she was first married, Grandma worked as a nurse in the Department of Mental Hygiene at DeWitt State Hospital. A former Army base, DeWitt housed overflow patients from other California mental hospitals beginning in 1946. By 1960 it housed over 2,800 patients. Grandma was paid an hourly wage to administer medication, bathe patients, scrub hallways. She tells me that several women she had gone to school with were admitted by their husbands when their husbands wanted to remarry. She tells me there was nothing wrong with these women. She tells me she was almost fired for combing a patient’s hair and giving her water. She tells me she was not supposed to touch the crazies.

I am told I cannot trust anything my grandmother says.

Handwritten, cursive note that says, "Love you, Love you, Love you, Love you, Love you, Love you, Love you, Love you (when you get old you repeat yourself). Love you forever, B"

Stephanie Sauer was raised in Rough and Ready, California (a real town), where she learned to sew and make art in 4-H on her way to becoming a member of the FFA. She instead fled to Chicago to earn her MFA, co-founded an in-translation press (A Bolha Editora) in Brazil with her wife, and authored Almonds Are Members of the Peach Family (Noemi Press) and The Accidental Archives of the Royal Chicano Air Force (University of Texas Press). You can find her other writings and book work in Pleiades, Gulf Coast, Drunken Boat, Asymptote, Lavender Review, So to Speak, and Another Chicago Magazine. She currently serves on the faculty of Stetson University’s MFA of the Americas program (also real) and directs Lolmĕn Publications for the Shingle Springs Band of Miwok Indians. 

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