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 Most Popular Essays/Articles (all)
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

The Story Behind the Story: A Trip to the Museum

A Trip to the Museum was written in response to a prompt given by the writer Lee K. Abbott at the Kenyon Review
2019-04-19 08:21:31
ellenbm

0

“My Apologies”

I will start by saying that I do not have to explain myself to you.  Then I will go
2019-04-12 07:58:47
evadunsky

0

“Tweaking Personhood”

“How many of you are interested in volunteering for algorithm-tweaking?” asked Jim, the division manager. “And let me
2019-04-03 09:05:55
raburton

0

The Story Behind the Story: “The Hunted”

The genesis for “The Hunted” is somewhat foggy now, though I believe the story came from a friend’s anecdote about de
2019-03-29 08:22:51
horn1dus

0

“On Writing”

Writing, for me, is unlike any other form of art in
2019-03-07 11:59:20
lmarecki

0

The Story Behind the Story: “Ablution”

Where does romance end and abuse begin? What baser forces come into play when men are attracted to women and vice
2019-03-07 11:49:14
fwhite

0

“The Gathering Before the Storm”

Against her better judgment, Gladys takes a moment to notice that the sky looks deceptively banal through the
2019-03-04 11:51:03
maryfifield

0

“But Why?”

One forthcoming novel. Two in-print poetry collections. A slew of online and print publications. A full-time
2019-03-04 10:49:19
nyurcaba

0

“Two Chambers”

I. The boys go out for groceries but come home with matching rifles. “Antiques,” Son
2019-03-01 09:59:18
suttonstrother

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.