Writing Samples

Congemi has long been attracted to ideas describing life as absurdest and indeterminate, but has also held out for the possibility that these ideas are not necessarily correct.

Breakfast With Father

HEARING ABOUT HER father’s seventieth birthday party from her sister Meg, Laurie flew from Los Angeles to New York as quickly as she could, which surprised her, for she had never gotten along very well with her father.  Not one to sleep in the same house overnight with him, she…

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Once I Saw The Calypso Star

I MUST TELL you at the outset–it is very important to my little story and to its point–that my life has not gone well, did not go well, I suppose, I should say, now that there is really no way I can avoid understanding that it is on the way…

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The Mind-Scrubbers

MY NAME IS Peter Ross, and I am not, emphatically, a nice man–at least, that is what some people say, and, to be honest, I should add, this is what I think about myself at times.  There are several possibilities, I suppose, as to why I am so unpleasant.  I…

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Trees by the Edge of the Lake

I HAVE ALWAYS enjoyed this northern city, this capital. As prosaic as it sounds, I suspect one of its principal attractions is that it is neither too big nor too small. Another, it came to me yesterday, is political. The few men who run this city, whose family and friends…

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The Steinmacht Radio

JESSE TRIED TO do the right thing. Things never worked out in high school and for a few years after that—some odd jobs. But he did try to do the right thing, tried hard. That’s why when he met Meg in the bar and fell in love with her, instead…

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Out Country

THE TRIP UPSTATE, out into the country, had been a fiasco right from the beginning, in Elizabeth’s opinion. Not that she wanted to be harsh towards Jonathan. She didn’t feel that way. It was simply the truth. Manhattan had been insufferably hot all week, so when Jonathan said he could…

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Aunt Beatrice

AT SIXTY, MY Aunt Beatrice was still a beautiful woman—there was no denying that. Smart, classy, curvy, she was an executive secretary to the president of a major cosmetics firm. Her office was on top of 666 Fifth Avenue and seemed nearly as large as an entire floor. She bought…

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The Overlooked Man

MY UNCLE EDWARD was the overlooked man, at least, that’s what people said about him. I guess what they had in mind was that he was some sort of symbol for all those people who nobody particularly thinks about, cares about, even notices. I have to confess it was hard…

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