Susan O’Neill is the author of Don’t Mean Nothing (Ballantine 2001; UMass Press 2004; Serving House Books 2010), a collection of short stories based loosely on her hitch as an Army Nurse in Viet Nam. She has edited Vestal Review , an ezine/print literary journal for flash fiction, since it began, literally at the turn of the century. Her stories and essays have appeared on line and in print, in commercial and literary magazines, professional journals, Spoken Word zines and, in the Old Days, in real newsprint. She has worked as a reporter, a freelance writer, an RN, a storyteller, an envelope-stuffer, and a wedding singer.
Susan’s more-or-less monthly essays, under the heading Off the Matrix, can be found on this site at PeaceCorpsWorldwide.org/off-the-matrix, and she wastes a shameful amount of time on Facebook and Twitter (@oneill_susan).
Susan’s new book — Calling New Dehli for Free (and other ephemeral truths of the 21st century) — has just been published by Peace Corps Writers.
Here is what the back cover says about it:
Technology first rocked our world when a lightning bolt zapped a bush at the entrance to a cave, and First Man crawled out and stuck his hand into the mystical blaze. Centuries later (just how many seems to depend on your religious orientation), we still find technology fascinating, mysterious, distracting, vital and Wow! Shiny! — and it still fries our grasping, hapless human hands, not to mention our grasping, hapless human brains.
These short essays are all about that tender point where the finger meets the flame, where the ecstasy and the pain live–and where the sweet, dark humor so often lurks. Most of them simply examine the craziness of everyday life. Some spring from weird travel experiences. Some pick at politics, niggle at religion, worry at war. They’re set in Starbucks, in my kitchen, in Viet Nam, in India, on a Russian train and a Greyhound bus; in Massachusetts, Indiana, Brooklyn and Times Square; in WalMart and Golden Corral, and at the second inauguration of Barack Obama. All have been published somewhere before. In all the pieces, there is a tie to technology, be it as strong as an anchor cable, or as tenuous as a spiderweb. This gives me a lot of leeway — because what, in this modern world, *isn’t* tied to technology? A final disclaimer: you certainly don’t have to be tech savvy to enjoy this book. You just have to be a human being with bandaids on your fingers. Which pretty much describes us all.
To order Calling New Delhi for Free from Amazon, click on the book cover or the bold book title — and Peace Corps Worldwide, an Amazon Associate, will receive a small remittance that will help support our annual writers awards.