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Interview: Amman Sabet on “Say You’re Sorry”

Amman SabetTell us a bit about “Say You’re Sorry.”

Say You’re Sorry” is a story about the power that apologies hold over us.


What was the inspiration for this story, or what prompted you to write it?

I’m not really sure. The premise probably came out of one of those “what if” scenario conversations you have with friends or family. One or two rough drafts of other stories also merged into this one (some characters and scenarios, etc.) giving it some shape.


Was “Say You’re Sorry” personal to you in any way? If so, how?

I grew up in and around NYC, and I’ve worked in a bunch of design offices. I drew from a personal canvas when assembling the backdrop and relationships.


Was there any aspect of this story you found difficult to write?

I found it a little difficult because when you write a story about saying sorry, you naturally go to the perspective of people saying sorry to you, instead of the other way around. Once I went there, things opened up.


Why do you write?

I want to be liked. Stories, with luck, interact with readers on their writer’s behalf and maybe even become appreciated. My naked hope is that, through this, I have a chance at appreciation (at a not-uncomfortable remove).


What are you working on now?

I’m revising a workshopped draft of a novel about a portrait artist living through a major food epidemic, as well as several short stories that I am trying on endings for. I’m also finishing up a graduate degree.


“Say You’re Sorry” appears in the March/April 2020 issue of F&SF.

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