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Brooklyn resident and former editor at One Story
Marie-Helene Bertino read first, a hilarious story called "This is Your Will to Live" from her debut collection Safe as Houses
. In it, a lonely, lovely, witty woman deals with an irritable traveling salesman who offers her a talking head that tells a sob story—"would you like to buy my sob story?"—and bath salts that are "your will to live." Berino is one funny lady; appropriately, then, at the end of her reading she gave a dramatic bow.