Mcsweeney's Literary Arts Fund
What role does a mother play in raising thoughtful, generous children? In her literary debut, internationally award-winning writer Courtney Zoffness considers what we inherit from generations past—biologically, culturally, spiritually—and what we pass on to our children.
Spilt Milk is an intimate, bracing, and beautiful exploration of vulnerability and culpability. Zoffness relives her childhood anxiety disorder as she witnesses it manifest in her firstborn; endures brazen sexual advances by a student in her class; grapples with the implications of her young son’s cop obsession; and challenges her Jewish faith. Where is the line between privacy and secrecy? How do the stories we tell inform who we become? These powerful, dynamic essays herald a vital new voice.
Courtney Zoffness won the Sunday Times Short Story Award, an Emerging Writers Fellowship from the Center for Fiction, residency fellowships from the MacDowell Colony, and the Susan Atefat Prize in Creative Nonfiction from Arts & Letters. Her work has appeared in the Paris Review Daily, The Southern Review, Longreads, Los Angeles Review of Books, and elsewhere, and she had Notable Best American Essays in 2018 and 2019. She teaches at Drew University and lives with her family in Brooklyn, New York.