Julia Greenfield has a problem: She's 26 years old, and she's still a virgin. Sex ought to be easy. People have it all the time! But without meaning to, she made it through college and into adulthood with her virginity intact. Something's got to change. To reroute herself from her stalled life, Julia travels to spend the summer with her mysterious aunt Vivienne in North Carolina. It's not long, however, before she unearths a confounding secret - her 58-year-old aunt is a virgin, too.
"Not for me"
Twenty-six-year-old Julia Greenfield has long suspected that everyone is having fun without her. It's not that she's unhappy, per se. It's just that she's not exactly happy either. She hasn't done anything spontaneous since about 2003. Shouldn't she be running a start-up? Or going backpacking? Or exploring uncharted erogenous zones with inappropriate men? Trapped between news of her mother's latent sexual awakening and her spinster aunt's odd behavior, Julia has finally snapped.
Born in South Africa, Emma Rathbone was a Henry Hoyns Fellow at the University of Virginia, where she received her M.F.A. The Patterns of Paper Monsters is her debut novel. Convicted of armed robbery, 17-year-old Jacob is sentenced to a Virginia detention center. Bored, Jacob begins romancing an inmate he bumps into once in a while. But when Jacob is asked to help bring the center down, he must choose between his new relationship and the chance for escape.
"Before I Start My Taxes …" is from the March 13, 2016, Business section of The New York Times. It was written by Emma Rathbone and narrated by Keith Sellon-Wright.