Issue 42

Winter Reading

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Ben Marcus // Antonya Nelson // Roy Blount Jr
Editor's Note

It is impossible for the heart not to leap when the formidable storywriter Antonya Nelson delivers “iff,” once again showing why she is one of the masters of the short form. Then there is Ben Marcus, who, in true literary-convention-spanking style presents us with “The Moors,” in which he blatantly ignores Fiction Rule Number 12: It is impossible to write a thirty-seven page story about a hapless man tied in knots over what to say to a colleague as they arrive at the coffee station at the same time. One would have to be made of ice not to succumb to the dark charms of the irrepressible novelist Amélie Nothomb–imagine Marguerite Dura’s precocious, perversely funny little sister. We hope that you will be as seduced as we were by Paris Editor Heather Hartley’s interview with the author–along with an excerpt from her newly translated novel, Hygiene and the Assassin. If reading new poetry from Michael Dickman, Dorianne Laux, and D. Nurske doesn’t make you crow with joy over the state of modern American poetry, well, we can give you the address of a nice little booby hatch in upstate New York. If that wasn’t enough, we’re throwing in a puzzle where you, dear reader, along with a friend, can rewrite Edgar Allen Poe’s “The Tell-Tale Heart.”

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Table of Contents


Antonya Nelson
Karen Shepard
There Be Monsters
Amélie Nothomb
Excerpt from Hygiene and the Assassin
Ben Marcus
The Moors
Keith Lee Morris
What I Want from You


Ana Menendez
From Kandahar to Herat


Michael Dickman
False Start
D. Nurkse
Nine Spanish Riddles
The Lake Behind the Branches
Dorianne Laux
Who Needs Us?
David Trinidad
Black Telephone
Tadeusz Dacbrowski
[the living will not understand the dead the dead will understand]

New Voice Fiction

Jeff Snowbarger
Bitter Fruit


Amélie Nothomb
interviewed by Heather Hartley
Roy Blount Jr.
interviewed by Cassandra J. Cleghorn

New Voice Poetry

Allyson Paty

Lost & Found

Geoff Nicholson
On David Carradine’s Endless Highway
Dani Shapiro
On Ellen Miller’s Like Being Killed
Steve Almond
On Michael Arlen’s Living-room War
A.N. Devers
On María Louisa Bombal’s The House of Mist
Jennifer Gilmore
On Uli Beigel’s Victoria at Night and Other Stories

Readable Feast

Roxana Robinson
Kentucky Bread