Uncanny Vale

Home to the Literary Creations
of Erin Wilcox


Letter to Rick Santorum

In honor of Rick Santorum’s suspension of his presidential campaign, I’m sharing a letter I wrote him in 2004, years before the inception of his Google problem, when I first encountered his opinions regarding birth control. Back then, my suggestions seemed outlandish. Now they sound eerily close to the tenor of our national debate:

March 2004

Dear Mr. Santorum,

Librotraficante Smuggles Mind-Altering Prose into the Southwest

Recent political events in the Southwest, where Arizona has outlawed any K-12 curriculum that “advocates ethnic solidarity instead of the treatment of pupils as individuals,” have ignited a literary protest of national significance. On Monday, March 12, a caravan of formidable authors including Sandra Cisneros and Dagoberto Gilb left Houston on a tour spanning San Antonio, Albuquerque, and Tucson, where it arrives Friday, March 16.

New Content in the Vale

Have you ever wondered when to put a comma between two adjectives that fall before a noun? About five years ago, I started to brood over the commas-and-adjectives issue. Growing up, I learned that you always add a comma, but to my ear, that often seemed wrong. Was the rule on its way out of style completely, as I’d heard rumored? Yet, I still felt a pause between adjectives when I said phrases like, “It was a beautiful, seductive lie.” Didn’t a comma belong there?