Lucy Honig‘s stories have appeared in two O. Henry Prize story collections, and in Best American Short Stories, as well as in DoubleTake, Ploughshares, The Gettysburg Review, Witness, Agni, and other magazines. Her first novel, Picking Up, was published by Dog Ear Press. She has received the D. H. Lawrence Fellowship and a Northwood Institute Creativity Center Fellowship. For many years she juggled writing with work that ranged from farming in the Maine woods and teaching English to immigrants in Brooklyn to directing a county human rights commission in upstate New York. Since 1995 she has taught in the graduate program in International Health at Boston University’s School of Public Health. She lives just outside of Boston.
These nine stories are teeming with people on the margins, where destitute New Yorkers and determined immigrants are as much at the mercy of social services, media attention, opportunistic politicians, and “quality-of-life” campaigns as they are prey to grinding poverty, dangerous streets, and their own haunting memories. Delving into Lucy Honig’s fiction, one is willingly drawn into an intimacy with these resilient, but flawed characters—among them, a woman who cleans a beauty salon, a high school kid who’s lost a parent, a runaway Cambodian bride, an actress, and a homeless woman. Crossing paths, these difficult characters often misunderstand and sometimes demean each other, yet they also redeem and rescue one other in odd and unexpected ways. In The Truly Needy, Lucy Honig has created a heartbreaking, imaginative world that is the American urban landscape.