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There was a message from Gertrude Stein the day he arrived back in Paris. The desk clerk at his hotel gave him the card. It had a picture of a farmer’s market somewhere in the 17th arrondissement, and said: “Ernest. Looking forward to seeing you. Let’s meet on Friday. Gertrude.” It was Friday, and the message had been there for some time. He had just returned from New York with the final proof of his novel. His publisher was looking for the last set of corrections. He had a fifth of whiskey in his case. He pushed his notes and the manuscript underneath his fishing gear and checked them at the desk with his case without even going up to the room. He asked to use the phone.
Mark Victor Young has published poetry and short fiction in the.writers.block, Chickadee Magazine and Canadian Author & Bookman; book reviews and comic strips for SCENE, and feature articles for the website www.soyouwanna.com. He won the 1992 Lillian Kroll Prize for Creative Writing at the University of Western Ontario, where he studied English Literature.