Issue 76

Summer Reading



Ursula K. Le Guin / Yusef Komunyakaa / Meghan O'Gieblyn
Editor's Note

Ursula K. Le Guin wrote in her esteemed 1969 novel, The Left Hand of Darkness, “I talk about the gods, I am an atheist. But I am an artist too, and therefore a liar. Distrust everything I say. I am telling the truth.” And what a fierce truth our Portland neighbor told, right up until her journey’s end. Whenever we had the great fortune to publish her, we would take page proofs up the hill to her house, where she would chuckle at our foolishness over tea. In this issue we present a last, long short story, “Pity and Shame,” which is filled with her trademark inventiveness and dark humor. I imagine she would be happy with the company in these pages, the other six short stories along with the three essays, all written by women. The passed torch burns bright in the hands of Catherine Lacey, who, in her story “The Grand Claremont Hotel,” concocts an infinitely pleasing luxury hotel. You can also see the fiery connection in emerging writer Abbey Mei Otis’ fiercely imagined story “Rich People.” Elissa Schappell divines the magic of Chartreuse, a botanical liqueur made by Carthusian monks in silence and secrecy (the formula of one-hundred-plus herbs has been locked away for centuries). The liqueur was originally formulated in the eighteenth century as the “Elixir of Long Life,” but one wouldn’t be surprised if it had been conjured by the mind and pen of Le Guin. She will be deeply missed. Luckily for all of us, her words and spirit live on.

[The print edition of this issue is currently out of stock.]

Table of Contents


Ursula K. Le Guin
Abbey Mei Otis
Rich People
J. Jezewska Stevens
Berlin Dispatches to Remember Me By
Catherine Lacey
The Grand Claremont Hotel
Leigh Newman
Slide and Glide
Ashley Whitaker
Carrie Grinstead


Lia Purpura
Church Of
Yusef Komunyakaa
from The Last Bohemian of Avenue A
Shane McCrae
Adam Clay
A Joke About How Old We’ve Become
James Hoch
This Drink Tastes Like History
Philip Metres
The House at Long Lake
Maggie Smith
If I Could Set This to Music
Mildred Barya
Nomi Stone
Ira Sadoff
The Defeat of Brooklyn
Biographical Sketch
Teddy Macker
The Anesthesia of Abstraction
On Odysseus
Sally Ball
Temple Example
Leave No Trace
Gerardo Pacheco Matus
A Heap of Ashes
Shoe Box Coffin
The Burning
Rosebud Ben-Oni


Ashleigh Young
Can You Tolerate This?
Meghan O’Gieblyn

Lost & Found

Tabitha Blankenbiller
Jon Michaud
On John Hampson’s Saturday Night at the Greyhound
Joshua James Amberson
On Robert Sund’s Ish River
Cheston Knapp
On Herman LeRoy Emmet’s Fruit Tramps
Ruby Brunton
On Kathy Acker’s In Memoriam to Identity

Blithe Spirit

Elissa Schappell
Recipe for Mystery