EP71circlePaper Apartment
Molly Jean Bennett


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Paper Apartment constructs the imagined histories of three people from their left-behind effects. Reclusive street photographer Vivian Maier moves invisibly through crowded parks and beaches in New York and Chicago, making hundreds of thousands of images that she will show to no one. Bennett’s late great aunt, an accomplished computer technician and hobbyist bow hunter, obsessively amasses phone books and electric bills. An unknown man living alone in rural Virginia saves his sister’s unanswered letters to him. Told in short prose fragments that leap across time and space into specific, sensory scenes, Paper Apartment knits together the private worlds of these solitary collectors.
 
AN EXCERPT FROM EP 71
 
“V.M.’s body—100,000 negatives—was discovered in a locker at a thrift auction. I remember one shot in particular, of a policeman holding a fat lady in a polyester housedress by the wrists. Maybe it was discipline. Maybe they were praying.”
 
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
 
MOLLY JEAN BENNETT‘s essays, poems, and strongly worded letters have appeared in McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, Atlas Obscura, Word Riot, Bustle, and elsewhere. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Hollins University and currently lives in New York City.


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2016 OPEN BOOK CONTEST RESULTS

Essay Press is pleased to announce the two winners of the 2016 Essay Press Open Book Contest judged by Carla Harryman: Litany for the Long Moment by Mary-Kim Arnold and Of Sphere by Karla Kelsey, which will be published in Fall 2017.