SAIC Beat is F Newsmagazine’s student-produced podcast, profiling members of the SAIC community. This season, we ask artists what it means to “make it.” Click here for more episodes of SAIC Beat.
As a young woman, Janet Desaulniers wanted to be a fiction writer whose stories landed “like a snow shovel to the face.” While still a student at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, Janet published a short story in The New Yorker, which editor Gordon Lish dubbed “the best story I’ve read in the language.” That story, with others, eventually landed Janet a book deal. Over the course of the next 25 years, Janet would endure the thrills and perils of literary fame, fall into and out of love, and at the end of it all, publish the long-awaited short story collection, “What You’ve Been Missing.” On the other end of mayhem, Janet is now fixated on preserving the sound of her literature — the inner voice she has heeded since childhood: “me putting language together, in my head.”
Stream the episode below.