Read Former Facilitator Leah Bailly’s Latest!

Vegaboy by Leah Bailly

This opening excerpt of Leah Bailly’s Vegaboy is the first-place winner of the 2022 CRAFT First Chapters Contest, guest judged by Maisy Card.

In the opening chapters of Vegaboy, an adjunct professor abandons her husband and child, surrenders to her drug addiction, and moves to Vegas in search of the next high. Though the story is addressed to the child she once abandoned, we don’t meet the narrator at a point of contrition. With dark humor, the opening chapter describes her first encounter with a young airport security guard, a fellow addict whom she latches onto, driven by an instant, almost maternal affection and hope for a steady supply of drugs. The chapter that follows flashes back in time to her own birth by an alcoholic mother and her attempt to do a public reading while obliterated. Written in mesmerizing, lyrical prose, Vegaboy promises an inventive portrait of intergenerational addiction, reluctant motherhood, and desperation. — Maisy Card

Read the chapter at Craft Literary.

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