We recently published Lori Sambol Brody’s powerful “Made In Her Image.”
Here, we ask her two questions about her story:
1) To start with: Dammit, Lori. Why did you have to make me cry? But seriously, I love the heart and emotion in this story, the way the mother finds power in both the creation of her golem daughter and the potential for uncreation. She is tempted sometimes, sure, but do you think she will ever undo this daughter she has made?
What are the obligations to something or someone that we have given life to? In the golem folktales, the golem is destroyed (or rather, uncreated back into dirt) because it grew too powerful and could not be controlled. But isn’t that what happens when a child grows up? The entirety of childhood is the gradual solidification of a child’s identity as apart from the parents, and becoming someone who cannot be controlled, cannot stay. As to the mother in the story, I think that if she’s resilient enough to let this second daughter go, she will not undo her golem daughter. But is she resilient enough to overcome her trauma? Even if her golem daughter becomes too powerful or dangerous?
2) The subtlety in storytelling is so lovely here — we know what has happened without being told. Were you ever tempted to give more detail about what became of the first daughter?
In this story, I wanted to concentrate on what it means to have a child that you created to stay with you forever (who knew a golem could go to college?) leave for college. As you know, my two girls are almost ready to leave, and I have such mixed emotions – I want them to stay for selfish reasons, but I also know that kids grow up and need to leave home – and want to leave home. So I didn’t want to give too many details about what happened to the first daughter. There is a hint of violence, but the focus here is on the golem daughter’s leaving the mother. This is also part of a series, so other stories have some more details.
Editor’s note: Check out this story from the series in Cotton Xenomorph: How to Create a Golem