THE DEEPER THE WATER THE UGLIER THE FISH
By Katya Apekina
Two Dollar Radio, September 18, 2018
It’s sixteen year-old Edie who finds their mother Marianne dangling in the living room from an old jump rope, puddle of urine on the floor, barely alive. Upstairs, fourteen year-old Mae had fallen into one of her trances, often a result of feeling too closely attuned to her mother’s dark moods. After Marianne is unwillingly admitted to a mental hospital, Edie and Mae are forced to move from their childhood home in Louisiana to New York to live with their estranged father, Dennis, a former civil rights activist and literary figure on the other side of success. The girls, grieving and homesick, are at first wary of their father’s affection, but soon Mae and Edie’s close relationship begins to fall apart―Edie remains fiercely loyal to Marianne, convinced that Dennis is responsible for her mother’s downfall, while Mae, suffocated by her striking resemblances to her mother, feels pulled toward their father. The girls move in increasingly opposing and destructive directions as they struggle to cope with outsized pain, and as the history of Dennis and Marianne’s romantic past clicks into focus, the family fractures further.
About the Author
Katya Apekina has had stories published in The Iowa Review, Santa Monica Review, Joyland, and appeared on the Notable List of Best American Nonrequired Reading 2013. Her poetry and prose translations appeared in Night Wraps the Sky: Writings by and about Mayakovsky (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2008), which was short-listed for the Best Translated Book Award. Apekina co-wrote the screenplay for the feature film New Orleans, Mon Amour, which premiered at SXSW in 2008 and starred Elisabeth Moss and Christopher Eccleston. Born in Moscow, she currently resides in Los Angeles.