Issue 55

This Means War

Spring 2013
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Editor's Note

The earliest recorded stories are war stories. Some forty thousand years ago, people painted their tales of hunting buffalo and elk and battling fellow humans on the walls of caves. As soon as we could put pen to paper, we recorded for posterity how armies crossed seas and mountains and deserts to clash swords with other men, for glory and in memory of the fallen. These are the stories that are passed down from generation to generation to generation. We may have forgotten how our great-great-grandparents met and fell in love, but we remember that our great-great-grandpa fought at the battle of Normandy. Everyone has a war story. Why? Because war equals conflict and conflict equals story. It has always fallen to our storytellers, poets, and reporters to show us who we are and help us make sense of the senseless. So it has been, so it will always be.

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Table of Contents


Jim Shepard
Wall-to-Wall Counseling
Phil Klay
After Action Report
Anthony Doerr
The Education of Werner Pfennig
Samantha Hunt
All Hands
Colum McCann
Matthew Specktor
An Excerpt from American Dream Machine


Evie Shockley
I Declare War
A Dark Scrawl
Camille Rankine
The Current Isolationism
Necessity Defense of Institutional Memory
Victoria Chang
Edward Hopper’s “New York Office”
Edward Hopper’s “Office at Night”
Kathleen Winter
Robin Richardson
Little Robin Explains Growing Up

New Voice Poetry

Elizabeth Lyons
How All Things Are Managed


Janine di Giovanni


Bruce Handy
Budd and Leni
Michael Helm
In a Stone Country
Robert Bly and Tomas Tranströmer
Poetry and War, a Life in Letters

Lost & Found

Steve Almond
On Per Olov Enquist’s The Visit of the Royal Physician
Ann Hood
On Pat Barker’s Regeneration
Rachel Riederer
On E. F. Schumacher’s Small is Beautiful
Leslie Jamison
On Charles Jackson’s The Lost Weekend

Readable Feast

Will Mackin
The Unwanted Food Shelf