12.09.2004

Dika Lam, one of the Cupcakes who will be reading her work on Tuesday to all you darling Cupcakes here in town, wrote a story for One Story - edited by Cupcake alum (October '03) Hannah Tinti, no less - a while back, and although the excerpt and interview are brief, I just can't get enough...I guess it helps that I went to Cornell and know well the Gothic suicide trope of which she speaks...
Where did you go to college? Was it a similar environment to this campus?
I borrowed quite a bit of Cornell University's geography for this story. When I was an undergraduate there, a professor jumped off a bridge. I believe the headline in the student newspaper ran along the lines of "Professor Commits Suicide As Stunned Students Watch." Years later, I started wondering what it must have been like for those stunned students, which led me to speculate about what would happen if the loss of one role model was duplicated en masse. There's a prevailing myth that Cornell has the highest suicide rate among colleges. The truth is that other schools don't have the dramatic scenery—the deep gorges that lend themselves to sensationalism. Then again, there was another incident where a young woman accidentally fell into a gorge and landed on a raccoon. She lived; the raccoon wasn't so lucky.
True story, at One Story.

-Lauren

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