Heidi McSweeney

I found this picture of her the other day, and thought I would write about my adolescent crush on her and how I realized, halfway through A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, that the tragic death of the mother Dave Eggers was writing about was my very own Heidi McSweeney, and about how I sent a camp photo of her to Eggers (which took a lot of effort back in those days before I had a scanner), and about how he never wrote me back, which also happened to someone else from that wonderful camp, Camp Fernwood in the Berkshires.

But I already wrote all that.

So here, instead, are mother and son, side by side. Their eyes are similar. Hers were like narrow blue lasers – she could send a whole table of campers into scared silence with one glance. I wonder if the people at McSweeney’s feel the same.


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