Leaving Letitia Street

Leaving Letitia Street collects eleven of Jacqueline Simon’s short stories. They vary in time and place from the New Orleans of WWII to a Gen X dorm room, exploring the kinds of problems that can engulf ordinary people dealing with those they love best: aging parents, meddling siblings, spouses, children, and lovers young or old. Her characters strive to maintain connections, without always succeeding, in a culture seemingly overpopulated with emotional illiterates. These luminous stories about family are delivered with charm, wry humor, and a lively prose much praised for its insight.

Awards & Recognition

  • The National Magazine Award for Fiction, 1984, shortlist
  • PEN Southwest / Houston Discovery Prize
  • Cultural Arts Council of Houston Creative Artist Award
  • The Texas Heart of Film Festival, screenplay semi-finalist
  • Texas Writer Recognition Award, the Texas Commission on the Arts


“Jacqueline Simon’s stories are wonderfully engaging, as colorful and sharply cut as the patterns in a shaken kaleidoscope. She delivers affectionate and subtle reflections on families, deeply insightful stories about the contradictions and complexities of love and marriage. Gracefully written, witty, and empathetic, Leaving Letitia Street has been a long time coming but its rewards were surely worth waiting for.”
—Rosellen Brown, author of The Lake on Fire

“Jackie Simon explores with great insight and compassion the difficulty of creating and maintaining meaningful connections with other people. You have to love a writer who socks you in the gut with lines like this: ‘. . .Incredible that this love conferred no powers, made nothing easier.'”
—Ernest Hebert, author of The Old American

“These are tender stories, often looking back across the years, about characters for whom we can feel admiration and sympathy. Jacqueline Simon writes with precision and delicacy. She has a sharp eye, a keen ear, and a gift for evocative detail.”
—Jonathan Penner, author of Going Blind

“Deeply felt, witty, and, in the case of “Atalanta’s Lover,” hilarious, these brilliant stories can take your breath away. From “Seminova,” a portrait of the artist as a young girl (meeting Stalin’s mistress no less), to “Cheats,” where an older woman looks back on a decision made when young, these stories reveal uneasy truths about the lives of women and, in a few like “If He Could Speak to His Brother,” the lives of men. The award-winning Jacqueline Simon is a master of craft. Reader, you are in for a treat.”
—Eileen O’Leary, playwright and winner of the 2020 John Simmons Iowa Short Fiction Award