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The New Salon: Fiction Writers in Conversation

Budnitz.jpeg Judy Budnitz was born in 1973 and grew up in Atlanta, Georgia. She is the author of a novel, If I Told You Once (Flamingo/Picador US) which was shortlisted for the Orange Prize, and two short story collections: Flying Leap(Flamingo/Picador US) and Nice Big American Baby (HarperPerennial/Vintage US). She has received grants from the Lannan Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts.

from "Nadia," a story in Nice Big American Baby
Copyright by Judy Budnitz

Our friend Joel got one of those mail-order brides. It was all perfectly legitimate: he made some calls, looked through the catalogs, comparison-shopped. He filled out the forms without lying about his income or his height. Where it asked “marital status?” he wrote “divorced!” and “when she left me I threw my ring into the sea.” “That’s so romantic,” we all said when he did it. “No it wasn’t, it was stupid,” he said. “I could have sold that ring for a lot of money.” We insisted, “No, it’s very romantic.” “Do you think?” “Any woman would want you now,” we said as we put on bathing suits and diving masks and headed down to the beach.