This funny thing happens when people ask where I’m from, especially when I’m at academic conferences, where people are so often from uninteresting places.
“Mississippi,” I say.
“Oh, wow!” they say.
I can tell they’ve never seen a real live racist before. It’s exciting for them. They want to Tweet it.
“So,” they say. “What’s Mississippi really like?”
I tell them that it was basically just like Faulkner described it, meaning that my state is too impoverished to afford punctuation, that I have seen children go without a comma for years, that I’ve seen some families save their whole lives for a semicolon.
Harrison Scott Key, “The Imaginary Farm” OA77