Nancy Hale

Nancy Hale (1908–1988) published twenty novels, most famously The Prodigal Women (1942), as well as plays, a memoir, and a biography of painter Mary Cassatt. In New York she worked first as an editor at Vogue and Vanity Fair, and later as the first woman straight-news reporter for the New York Times. In 1954 and 1956 she published more stories in the New Yorker in a single calendar year (nine) than any other writer in the magazine’s history. She moved to Charlottesville, Virginia, in the mid-1930s, and lived there for the rest of her life.

The Earliest Dreams

I That was long, long ago. Your bed was maple, the color of brown sugar, and upon the small round posts of it in the darkness some moonlight danced in the hush, in the quiet. Your mother had rustled away,…