Benjamin Drevlow was the winner of the 2006 Many Voices Project and the author of a collection of short stories, Bend With the Knees and Other Love Advice From My Father (New Rivers Press, 2008). His fiction has also appeared in Passages North, Split Lip, NEAT, and Hot House Magazine. He is the fiction editor at BULL: Men’s Fiction, teaches writing at Georgia Southern University, and lives both in Georgia and online at .
Ever since reading Jeffrey Eugenides’ novel Virgin Suicides in 1993, I’ve been fascinated by the first-person plural voice and how it can operate in a story or novel. The plurality brings a unique choral quality to the narrative. A clique of teenagers (Virgin Suicides), a band of brothers (We the Animals by Justin Torres), a small community of Japanese picture brides (Buddha in the Attic by Julie Ostuka). The repeated incantation elicits a whimsy and lyricism that propels the narrative along; but in many of these stories, intense violence arises within the hypnotic prose.
I teach a workshop of advanced fiction here in Austin, Texas, and I’m always encouraging my students to experiment with new forms and voices, particularly ones that offer up inspiration and invention. With “Together,” I decided to take my own advice. At the time, I had taken a short break from writing a novel due to a string of family crises. One of the more troubling events was my mother suffering a nervous breakdown in September 2012. One psychiatric-ward admittance led to another and then another until my mom had become acutely depressed and anxious, making it difficult for her to participate in her former life. Over