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Katherine Min, Age 12

Katherine Min is author of the novel Secondhand World and has published stories in journals including Ploughshares, TriQuarterly, Glimmer Train, and The Threepenny Review. Presented here is an unfinished novel, The Challenges, written when she was in middle school.

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— Katherine Min, Age 12

“I was an incurable liar from the time I was five, which I quickly learned to channel into telling and writing stories. I figured this was the best way to avoid jail, or other forms of trouble. The Challenges was my first attempt at a novel, and it would not be my last. It was, however, the first and only time that I would try my hand at illustration. A friend taught me to draw women with oval faces, and rounded W’s for breasts, and I was quite pleased with my ability to render what, to my twelve-year-old sensibility, were gorgeous, sophisticated women, with killer fashion sense. I continue to have problems with endings; the novel peters out mid-sentence, on page 75.”