Fat Books & Thin Women


About Me

I’m Ellen. I grew up in NJ, went to school at Rutgers, worked for a year, then joined the Peace Corps. I served as a volunteer in the Republic of Macedonia from September 2009 through October 2011. For most of that time I lived in a town in the extreme west of the country, where I taught English in an Albanian school, ran more spelling bees than I want to think about, indoctrinated my students in the ways of Simon Says, and recruited kids for awesome summer camps.

From October 2011 through July 2011, I’m living in Tirana, Albania, studying on a Fulbright grant. I’m researching Albanian national identity and the ways it developed in Albania, Macedonia, and Kosova. I’m also doing a little fun side project, exploring Albanian literature.

While I was living in Macedonia, I didn’t have a lot of people I could talk to about books. (Unless you are counting my host sister, but she mostly saw books as vessels for her writing practice.) So, this blog, which gets its title from a quote from Russell Baker: “Americans like fat books and thin women.”

I also have a personal blog which, you know, in no way represents the thoughts or opinions of Peace Corps, the US government, the Fulbright program, or the Department of State.

I’m not a frequent publisher of short stories, but you can check my thin list if you’re so inclined:

* “What Comes After” at Dr. Hurley’s Snake-Oil Cure (December 7, 2011)
* “The Return of Rain” in Anomalous (September 15, 2011)
* “Public Monuments” in Anomalous (September 15, 2011)
* “Crust” at Dr. Hurley’s Snake-Oil Cure (April 20, 2011)
* “Crown Prince” in Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet (January 2005)
* “Every Pane of Weathered Glass” in SmokeLong Quarterly (August 15, 2004)
* “Langenscheidt’s German-English Dictionary” in Hanging Loose (issue 85) (2004)