Story Behind the Story: The Artichoke Dinner

The Artichoke Dinner was one of the first stories I wrote. It came to me one night after I had had dinner with my children, who were all adults by then. I thought of my own childhood and adolescence, that time I had been forced to eat the artichoke, the compelling feeling I experienced then that I had to resist it, that it was a matter of life and death for me. I had to write about it. In the first draft, I poured down all my fear, my rage, unrefined, overwhelming. And then I worked on the text again and again, so as to make it bare and raw, minimal.

After that, I wrote more stories about my life, always starting with a striking episode, first letting out on the paper all the primal crude feelings and then skinning the text until only the literary essentials were left.

The Artichoke Dinner might become the title story of my collection.

Related Posts
Filter by
Post Page
Featured Fiction New Fiction The Story Behind the Story
Sort by

“The Artichoke Dinner”

Her father had slapped her twice already. Her face is still red from the blows. Tears run down her cheeks. She is
2018-10-31 09:17:09
annie-de-benedictis

18

“Gravitate”

I. They stand side by side facing a row of dining room cabinets. Audrey examines each one carefully, looking
2019-08-21 09:36:14
rlittell

0

“Lowlands”

Alan asked me to meet him halfway between Brussels and Paris, at a restaurant around the
2019-08-09 23:36:34
rciresi

0

“Baby Lanes”

“Excuse me. I’m over here in the lane next to you and noticed you’re bowling very well tonight.” “That’s quite
2019-08-07 09:34:00
ctank08

0

“There is Always So Much”

What we did that summer: we hung around torn-down barns and took photos of each other with that old camera and
2019-07-29 23:33:44
mattliebowitz4

0

“A Rest”

There in the Carr Avenue house on an early spring evening in the year of the Great Shedding, the two youngest
2019-07-26 23:32:47
lalagood

0

“Joan Ponders Spit”

It was Christmas day, so Joan was bored. Her children had already opened their presents. Her daughter had cried
2019-07-22 11:10:52
kikadorsey

0

The Story Behind the Story: “Levitation”

“Levitation” was inspired by my three children.  Someone said to me on the day I was getting divorced,
2019-07-12 07:59:43
trivard

0

“Story Dissection”

Here’s all that is needed to dissect the story: Thematic Elements 1) The man loves his wife, as in t
2019-07-10 09:35:19
dryan

0

“The Reckoning”

I was four years old the first
2019-07-05 23:29:53
dakotacanon

0

About Annie De Benedictis

I am 60 years old and I live in The Hague, in the Netherlands. I work for the International Criminal Court. I have three children who are adults now. I am French but write my stories in English. I discovered that using a language that is not my native language gives me a great freedom of expression, the necessary distance from the moments of my life that I picture in my stories to make them become pieces of fiction.