SLEEPING WITH GYPSIES
By Ginny MacKenzie
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Amanda has two lives: one as normal as her brother Eugene’s, the other: a chronic sleepwalker who sleepwalks into the black hills where she’s “adopted” by a caravan of gypsies. There, she’s empowered to protect people from the “town stalker.” No one notices that Amanda’s uncle, a singing police chief moonlighting at his greenhouse, incubates a deadly strain of locusts. When a hailstorm destroys the greenhouse, the locusts are released, and Amanda learns from the gypsies how to stop the pestilence.
While still a teenager, Amanda and her painter-husband move to SoHo, New York’s art mecca. Munk is her Svengali and master of drugs. After giving birth, she must take care of her erratic husband and her newborn, precipitating a psychotic break.
But her fortune changes as she spies on gypsy workers in the factory next door. Why do they wear hairnets and baby blue dresses when the candy factory has long since closed? Why are they rustling through stacks of letters and bringing coffin-sized trunks into the dark recesses of the factory?
Amanda’s world is dangerous—her psychic gift of seeing omens in everyday occurrences shows her how to capture the love she searches for—one with consequences she could never imagine.
Ginny MacKenzie is a poet, fiction writer and translator. Her stories and novel excerpts have appeared in New Letters, Crab Orchard Review, Wisconsin Review, Taarts III (anthology) and the American Literary Review. Her poetry manuscript, Skipstone, won the national Backwaters Poetry Award and was published by Backwaters Press. Her creative non-fiction manuscript won the University of Southern Illinois’ John Guyon Award. Her poems have appeared in such magazines as The Nation, Agni Review, Ploughshares, Shenandoah, the Mississippi Review, the Iowa Review, and Prairie Schooner. She is the editor and translator of two bi-lingual books by contemporary Chinese poets of the Cultural Revolution.
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