Marilyn Krysl (born 1942) is an American writer of short stories and poetry who is known for her quirky and witty storytelling. She has published four short story collections along with seven collections of poetry. She has won several awards for her work, including the 2008 Richard Sullivan Prize for short fiction for her collection of short stories, Dinner With Osama, which is a sociopolitical satire of post-9/11 America. Krysl also submits work to The Atlantic journal, The Nation journal, and The New Republic journal, as well as being an editor of Many Mountains Moving: A Literary Journal of Diverse, Contemporary Voices along with Naomi Horii.
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Certainly I can say that my own childhood was unhappy. This was due to a clash of wills between my mother and myself. My early life was a series of fierce battles, from which my mother invariably emerged the victor. If I could not be seen anywhere, she would say, "Go and find out what Bernard is doing and tell him to stop it."
Out of the corner of one eye, I could see my mother. Out of the corner of the other eye, I could see her shadow on the wall, cast there by the lamplight. It was a big and solid shadow, and it looked so much like my mother that I became frightened. For I could not be sure whether for the rest of my life I would be able to tell when it was really my mother and when it was really her shadow standing between me and the rest of the world.