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The Carletonian

Rebekah Frumkin ‘12 published in 2009 edition of “The Best American Nonrequired Reading”

<h Frumkin ’12 recently had her short story published as part of “The Best American” series. Frumkin’s short story, “Monster,” was selected for the 2009 edition of “The Best American Nonrequired Reading,” an annual anthology compiled by writer and McSweeney’s editor Dave Eggers and a committee of high school students. The collection is comprised of stories, poems, blogs, screenplays, comics and more, and this year includes works by authors such as Jonathan Franzen and Nathan Englander.

This is not the first time that Frumkin has been published. In fact, she says her first experience with publication occurred at just seven years old, when she won a contest for a sequel to “Goodnight Moon.” She didn’t even know she’d won until five years later when she “Googled” herself and found her name on the online youth literary journal, Children’s BookPage. “And they retroactively awarded me $200,” Frumkin said with a smile.

At 14, her piece, “The Titanium Man,” was published in an online journal for teens called Frodo’s Notebook. More recent publications include humor pieces for McSweeney’s “Internet Tendency” and short stories featured in various magazines including “The Greatest Uncommon Denominator,” “The Common Review,” and “The Scrivener Creative Review.” Frumkin also won Carleton’s Samuel Strauss Prize for Humorous Writing last year for her story, “Stephen Dedalus Goes to College.”

Frumkin said she has been writing as far back as she can remember, even before she could decipher her own written words. “I was trying to write stuff before I could read. I think I was one of the last kids in my class to read,” she said. The now-literate Frumkin said her favorite authors and major influences as of late include James Joyce, David Foster Wallace and Alice Munro, among others.

Time for both reading and writing is in short supply, though, Frumkin admited, especially when trying to navigate Carleton’s treacherous academic and social waters.

“It’s hard to be moderately social… when you’re a writer. You never hear of an extroverted writer,” she said. “And then there’s classwork, and then it’s either like sleep or writing. It’s really been sort of frustrating.”

Despite this frustration, Frumkin hopes her future will include a career in creative writing of some sort. “It’s the one thing I thoroughly enjoy doing, without any caveats, without any exceptions,” she says. Her planned future literary endeavors include screenwriting and a novel, and she also hopes to pursue a Ph.D. in the writings of James Joyce.

For now, though, Frumkin is pleased to be in this year’s edition BANR.

“I’m really happy about it,” she said, but adds that being published along with so many talented authors is “pretty intimidating.” She is relieved, though, that the collection also features less well-known individuals. “There’s some people in that anthology that people know about, like Jonathan Franzen…and then there are ‘no-name’ people like me, which is comforting,” she said.

Frumkin is hardly a ‘no-name’ on the Carleton campus, and the Carleton Bookstore has the signing to prove it. You can get Frumkin’s substantive signature in your very own copy of “The Best American Nonrequired Reading” from 12-1 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 3.

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