Kirsti Sandy

recipient of the Northern New England Review’s Raven Prize for Creative Nonfiction (2017)


“We walked through the new house, a gold split level with three bedrooms, two bathrooms, and a light, airy basement and right away it seemed like a house meant for children who got bikes for Christmas, kids who went to Disney World over February vacation. It was bigger and brighter than our old house, and it had five acres of land. Our old house’s quarter-acre had been one of the biggest patches of green in our neighborhood, with the exception of the reservoir, and so five acres felt like an endless expanse, and it was both exciting and intimidating. My brother and I walked out back and just kept walking, when the lawn stopped and the wild field began. Although we did not know where the property line ended, the rest was all conservation land anyhow. We walked and walked, and the overgrown grass was golden and smelled like toast and honey, and instead of broken bottles or food wrappers we stepped over twigs and rocks and grass—and it was quiet, so quiet: no yelling of children’s names, no growling mufflers, no screen doors slamming. I thought, This is the country. I live in the country now.”


from She Lived and the Other Girls Died: Essays by Kirsti Sandy (Bauhan Publishing)