Ben Shaberman’s first book, “The Vegan Monologues,” is a collection of humorous essays published by Loyola University of Maryland. It features essays carried by a variety of media including: The Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, VegNews, Vegetarian Times, Clean Sheets Erotica Magazine, and NPR’s Morning Edition.
By day, he is a science writer for the Foundation Fighting Blindness, reporting on research for inherited retinal diseases. He also has a master of arts in writing from Johns Hopkins University, and has won awards from the Stonecoast Writers Conference (University of Southern Maine) and the Des Moines National Poetry Festival.
Ben, “Missy” is an intriguing excerpt from Jerry’s Vegan Women. As it turns out, though, Missy is no longer one of Jerry’s women or a vegan by story’s end. Perhaps the ideal Jerry formed of her was better suited for her mother, Claire. At what juncture do Missy and Claire appear in Jerry’s Vegan Women and how does the story excerpted here play into the broader collection?
The book is comprised of ten different stories with each featuring a different woman or girl, though “Missy” is really a story about two women. The book progresses chronologically with Jerry transforming along the way. Some of the women appear in more than one story, but Missy’s one and only appearance is in this chapter. The resolution with the ex-mother-in-law-to-be Claire is revealed toward the end of the book.
“Missy” provides a major turning point for Jerry in which he has the proverbial rug pulled out from under him. Just as he has gotten his vegan life together — gone vegan and become an activist — “meat happens.”
But given that Missy is officially the fourth female in the book, there are six more adventures with vegan women to come.