Amber Tran FW 2017

Born and raised in the heart of the Appalachia, Amber spent her childhood growing up on gravel roads and playing Pokémon Red on her Game Boy Color. At the age of 10, she discovered her fascination with creative writing and turned a 1-page homework assignment into a 35-page document for her 5th grade teacher. Less than a year later, she wrote her very first book about a female basketball player with leukemia. She will spare you the pain from having to read it. 

After graduating Magna Cum Laude from West Virginia University in 2012 with a bachelor’s degree in English literature and a concentration in creative writing, Amber moved to northern Alabama. She married her husband after meeting him in a Dragon Ball Z chat room. She is currently employed as a senior technical writer and Scrum Master for a software company. In her free time, she enjoys playing League of Legends and discovering dive bars with her girlfriends.

Her work has been featured in Calliope, Sonic Boom Journal, Spry Literary Journal, and more. She has an essay forthcoming in the anthology titled This Bridge Called Language.

Amber lives in Alabama with her husband and miniature wiener dog named Ahri.

Her first novel, Moon River, was released in September.


The Doll House

She carries with her the scent of her grandfather’s basement:
mothballs, sulfur, dust on Christmas decoration boxes, a fermented hush.
The shape of the bunker-style window bleeds across her memory
as she recounts the exact print of her grandfather’s palm across her thigh.
The yellow block of sunlight a token of warmth never warm enough
to melt the ice lodged in her throat when he tells her to hold her breath.
A seven year old who finds odd shapes in the water stains hanging
above her, a child who knows how many blemishes are suspended
in the wrinkles of her grandfather’s face as he stares at her.
The morning of her eight birthday, he told her that her gift
was in the basement, in the precarious corner he preferred on most days,
the only spot unseen from the top of the steps. She discovered
a doll house tucked in the rut of mildew and moisture, a faceless
figure draped across a bed the size of her palm, plastic food in the fridge.
The shape of her grandfather’s shadow swallowed the doll house,
and he reached over her shoulder, a trembling bulb of skin and bone,
to pull back the curtains and lock the card-sized door.

To read more from this author pick the current issue of The Stray Branch