Short Story Friday: The Princess of the Pumpkin by Karen Rosenbaum

Digging back in to the archives here for a story from the very early days of Mormon Studies. A teaser: “She sat down, checked over the week’s menus and shopping lists and picked up Moby Dick, which she knew she’d never finish.”

Title: The Princess of the Pumpkin

Author: Karen Rosenbaum

Publication Info: Dialogue, 1967

Submitted by: Theric Jepson

Why?: Theric writes: “.

I was going through my Dialogue DVD and this is the first work of fiction Dialogue ever published. Published in their second year and written by a friend of mine. Who knew? (Wm, do you know Karen? She’s in the Berkeley Ward.)”

Wm replies: I have no idea. My memories of the attending the Berkeley Ward are a bit hazy. It was a rather intense time of my life. My guess is that it’s one of those things where I’d have to see a photo because I suck at learning people’s names.


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4 thoughts on “Short Story Friday: The Princess of the Pumpkin by Karen Rosenbaum”

  1. .

    Ah, what a lovely gem of a story. It’s another Waiting Place story, but it never gets bogged down with glumness (except when she cries — that should have been cut).

    I feel primed to enjoy this story, reading, as I am, The Dud Avacado now, a story a few years older, but similar in tone and humor and play and language and with a similar lead character.

    Although there were sentences that I thought needed a bit of tweaking,this story’s 42 years old — it’s too late to make changes. And over all everything works. The words are fun to read.

    I find it fascinating, that this story is set in a nursing home. Most nursing home stories (and I have read many) (like Sunstone’s recent “Resurrection of the Bobcat” by Lisa R. Harris) use the location heavily, letting it scream about decriptitude and dying. Rosenbaum is much more subtle though. Because we know about these places, we get the symbolism screamfree. It sits gently in the background and we can take it as we want it.

    And I also loved the food names (again, never overdone, very subtle and slightly humorous), her flights of fancy, and her dreams of opening.

    Now I want to read more of Karen’s early work.

    (Incidentally, she was also connected with Sunstone in its early days. Anyone interested in an interview about Mormon Letters’ Early Modern Era?)

  2. Th: Do it.

    Also: I agree with the setting and occupation choices. It’s like, wow, it’s a character who isn’t a writer, teacher, journalist or lawyer.

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