Mickey Getty, Author



"Mickey Getty's The Junk Lottery
takes us through a suicide in order to
bring us more squarely back into life.

Getty's prose is as earthy , pungent
and redolent of a
midsummer's night as her
protaganist, Alma . . . Equal parts
harrowing and tender.

This novel is a treatise for the wise.
If you're not wise, it will certainly
help you get that way.

— John Payne, author of Kentuckiana
and North of Patagonia



The Junk Lottery belongs to the bildungsroman tradition — a novel whose subject is the moral, psychological, and intellectual development of a young man. My goal is to tell the feminine experience of self-discovery by adding a few lace curtains to the typically male models of coming of age and vision/quest. I have added a dash of mythology for seasoning. The heroine in The Junk Lottery, Alma MacCallum, a fifty-something widow, takes a journey inward. Her concept of herself is forever after altered.

Marrying, family ties, and caring for others, figure as frequently in women’s identity stories as adventure and test situations do in male versions of initiation. In contrast to the male initiant’s pursuit of rights, initiation or awakening in women’s stories is couched in terms of conflict between responsibilities to others and care of self. In The Junk Lottery, that kind of conflict erupts after years of taking care of others. Alma begins her quest after her husband has committed suicide.

Her inner voyage is her choice, a deliberate decision, but as she proceeds, Alma’s flashbacks, dreams, and visions suggest that the adventure is not entirely in her control. She receives unrelenting spiritual help in the form of visions and dreams. Her lifelong friend Petra both helps and challenges; Grace, her daughter, questions Alma’s commitment to family. George, another long-time friend, tempts her to reenter the world she’s trying to leave, with an offer of marriage. Alma looks back at her life and discovers wonderful and awful qualities about herself, the self that's been hidden beneath her husband's and their children's lives.

The Junk Lottery is about Alma, a woman created by my imagination, but it could as easily be about many woman of her generation. Alma learned to, as Clarissa Pinkola Estés put it, “make pretty all manner of grotesqueries whether they are lovely or not. This early training to ‘be nice’ causes women to override their intuitions. In that sense,” says Estés, “they are actually purposefully taught to submit to the predator. Imagine a wolf mother teaching her young to ‘be nice’ in the face of an angry ferret or a wily diamondback rattler.” Alma, like Stephen Dedalus, is as vulnerable to the predator within herself as she is to her late husband Mack. She is captured by her own interior stalker, but in the end can she become wiser, stronger as she finds her authentic voice? Does she have the courage to look keenly at herself? Does she have the ability to stand what she sees? Is it possible for her to reclaim her life?


Soot and The Junk Lottery are available at Firefly Bookstore
230 West Main Street Kutztown, PA 19530, Phone 484-648-2712, www.fireflybookstore.com
Follow Mickey on her blog at mickeysmurkeymeanderings.blogspot.com
  © 2009 / 2017 Mickey Getty, Author. All rights reserved.