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Work Samples


Cover of MFA vs. NYC where my essay "Basket Weaving 101" was published.

Adelmann Only the Good.pdf

"The final time Hugh broke it off with me we drank our coffee outside the café because he wanted to smoke. He took long drags on his cigarette and then puffed out with O-ed lips. Across the black metal table I shivered, layered in a long-sleeved shirt, a sweater, my coat, and a scarf — a hand-knit green one my brother had given me the previous Christmas. Hugh and I were the only people sitting outside. Professionals in black coats and shoes hurried along the sidewalk past us, taking long strides. Each time the door to the café jangled opened, I tried to guess what song was playing inside." - from "Only the Good," published in the Indiana Review
PDF icon Adelmann Only the Good.pdf


About Maria

Baltimore City

In Maria Adelmann's versatile collection of creative work, her unique trademarks always come through: her highly visual style, her keen observations about human emotion, and her ability to mesh humor with sadness. Her stories and creative nonfiction have been published by or are forthcoming in Epoch, Threepenny Review, Indiana Review, Michigan Quarterly Review, The Adroit Journal, Southeast Review, n+1, Tin House's Open Bar, and McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, among others. Past awards have... more

None of These Will Bring Disaster (short story)

"None of These Will Bring Disaster" is a short story told in snippets. It was published in Michigan Quarterly Review.

  • None of These Will Bring Disaster

    "I often come into work with sunglasses on, having taken the bus. I take the bus when I am still drunk in the morning or when it is snowing or raining because I don’t like to drive in the weather. I know that my coworkers know why I have taken the bus. For a week or so, I tried fruitlessly to schedule my binge drinking around the weather, but I can hardly figure out on which days to bring an umbrella, and I have been known to wear rainboots when it turns out not to rain at all."
    PDF icon None of These Will Bring Disaster

Basket Weaving 101 (creative nonfiction)

"Basket Weaving 101" is creative nonfiction, published in the book MFA vs. NYC: The Two Cultures of American Fiction from n+1.

  • Basket Weaving 101 from MFA vs. NYC

    "Many of the best moments in 'MFA vs NYC' are those that glide off topic. We witness Ms. Adelmann’s telling her father she had written a novella, and his responding: 'Novella? That chocolate spread?'" —The New York Times "Adelmann tells the story of her MFA years at the University of Virginia with a refreshing gentleness and lack of judgment. She offers keen insights into her 'craving to create on [her] own terms.'" —Open Letters Monthly
    PDF icon Basket Weaving 101 from MFA vs. NYC

Elegy (short story)

"Elegy" is a short story about a prophylactic mastectomy, told in snippets in reverse chronological order. It was published in The Southeast Review.

  • Elegy (proof from The Southeast Review)

    "The stars align, misalign, realign. Your horoscope makes claims that may never come true. A comet zooms through the sky, sperm-like. Can you wish on those? Your mother waits with you in a cold, pastel pink room that’s full of women wearing scarves, hats, wigs, women whose eyes are bulging from skeleton faces and blackening sockets, a room like where your mother went weekly when she was sick, while you stayed home with a friend, almost gleeful about the free reign, watching TV all evening with a bowl of ice cream approximately the size of your head. You wait, your fingers wrapped tightly around a Styrofoam cup — the tea bag has broken, and little confetti flakes surface, forming unreadable shapes. Soon, you hold the results instead, pinched between the thumb and forefinger of each hand, the way you might hold a cookie’s fortune. Your mother’s face is as flat and white as paper. Your face betrays nothing. Your body seems to be betraying you."
    PDF icon Elegy (proof from The Southeast Review)

Only the Good (short story)

"Only the Good" is a short story with traditional narrative structure, published in the Indiana Review.

  • Only the Good

    "It was unsettling that a thought such as, “I will sleep with him, I guess” had the potential to become a dot that had the potential to become a baby that had the potential to become a person that had the potential to, who knows, burn one hundred people to death in a fire, or, on the other hand, save one hundred people from death in a fire, and that each one of those hundred people, burned or alive, could also have been born or not born, depending on a decision that his or her mother had made, once upon a time, while sitting on the cold linoleum floor of a bathroom at work."
    PDF icon Only the Good

Aftermath (flash fiction series)

"Aftermath" is a flash fiction series. Each first-person piece starts where a classic fairy tale story left off. Included here are several samples from the series. ("Snow White," "Little Red Riding Hood," and "Sleeping Beauty," were previously published in Bateau.)

  • Snow White (Aftermath series)

    "It is my wedding day. The guards remove my dead stepmother from the dance hall, her feet burnt black as my hair, burnt almost to her knees, the iron shoes still glowing red. The stench of burned flesh may never leave this room. This is the woman who tried to eat my lungs and liver, who tried to kill me four times, all because of a mirror."
    PDF icon Snow White (Aftermath series)
  • Goldilocks (Aftermath series)

    "I collapse onto the ground right at my own front door, right there in the grass, because I am just completely out of breath. I am covered in sweat, it’s running right into my locks, I’m sure my cheeks look rouged, like a damsel’s cheeks are when in distress."
    PDF icon Goldilocks (Aftermath series)
  • Little Red Riding Hood (Aftermath series)

    "…the thin line of light grew longer and longer. Then, suddenly, before me: the huntsman’s handsome face. And behind me, fallen away as if it were my own skin: the wolf."
    PDF icon Little Red Riding Hood (Aftermath series)
  • Sleeping Beauty (Aftermath series)

    "The strangest thing: I cannot seem to stop pricking my fingers — kitchen knives, sewing needles, roses’ thorns. My fingers are stained red as if from strawberry picking. The color is deceiving, for my fingers are as pale and cold as if I were still asleep, or dead."
    PDF icon Sleeping Beauty (Aftermath series)

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Maria's Curated Collection

This artist has not yet created a curated collection.