Posts Tagged: short fiction
This week, C Pam Zhang has a flash fiction story at The Offing that is maybe about vampires but probably about girls, Chinese girls in particular. “Are They Vampires, or Are They Just Chinese?” is written in five brief paragraphs of atmospheric prose that is beautiful and barbed at the same time, like cotton candy wrapped around a railroad spike, or like girls....more
Steven Schwartz’s new book, Madagascar: New and Selected Stories, positively aches (often sighs, sometimes chuckles) with wisdom. Steven understands people. He understands why they do what they do, how they feel when they’ve done it, and he understands too how the twists of life can disrupt all of that so people act in peculiar, unexpected ways and respond with surprising acts....more
Well, it’s been one week under the Trump administration, and already we are living in a land of “alternative facts.” After Kellyanne Conway used the term to defend Press Secretary Sean Spicer’s falsehoods regarding the inauguration crowd size on Sunday, the American people were, understandably, reminded of George Orwell’s 1984, and sales of the book skyrocketed to #1 on the bestseller list by Tuesday night....more
This week, a new Maggie Shipstead story at Virginia Quarterly Review explores love, infidelity, and the ways life can slip from under your feet like an avalanche. Bonus: there is also a literal avalanche. The story, “Backcountry,” follows a twenty-five-year-old ski instructor named Ingrid (#1 baby name for future ski instructors) who meets a fifty-plus-year-old married (he tells Ingrid he’s divorced) man with big dreams of building a ski resort on a nearby mountain....more
This week, rising voice Emma Horwitz writes about teenage girls looking for some under-the-pants action (if you know what I mean (I’m talking about fingering)) at Vol. 1 Brooklyn. Horwitz’s story, appropriately titled “Fingering,” is a welcome and refreshing addition to the small range of narratives that show teenage girls as the single-minded, sex-mad creatures they sometimes are, because high sex drives aren’t just for boys, you know....more
If you recall your Greek mythology, you’ll remember Cassandra, princess of Troy, priestess of Apollo, seer of prophecies, and patron saint of women everywhere screaming themselves blue but never being heard. Cassandra’s prophecies unfailingly proved to be true, but still she was seen as insane by her family and the Trojan people and, in some versions of the story, often locked away for it....more
Tomorrow night, we denizens of planet Earth will gather with friends and family, or with complete strangers at a bar somewhere, or with a mob of people in an over-crowded and freezing square, or we will stay home alone, taking a bubble bath and with a bottle of wine (or two), and enjoy our solitude because we’re so over 2016, and we will all say goodbye to a year that has unanimously been ranked by mankind as a touch worse than the year in which that meteorite wiped out the dinosaurs....more
This week at Guernica’s newly re-designed website, author Jean McGarry has a short story, “Come to Me,” about an abusive relationship and the tangled dynamics of power and devotion that can hold its victims in place.
That was day four; on day one, I found underwear, not my own, in my underwear drawer.
Welcome to This Week in Books, where we highlight books just released by small and independent presses. Books have always been a symbol for and means of spreading knowledge and wisdom, and they are an important part of our toolkit in fighting for social justice....more
First, Ruby Hansen Murray explores the surreal landscapes of historic Native American locations turned educational tourist hotspots in the Saturday Rumpus Essay, as she journeys with the Osage Nation Historical Preservation Department to Cahokia, the site of an ancient agrarian culture in now-Illinois, among camera-carrying tourists and young field-trippers....more
In a political climate in which undocumented immigrants are painted as criminals and rapists and half the country is crying for deportation, this week’s story reminds us that immigrants are fathers who love their daughters, who work hard and send money home to dying mothers, who will go to the ends of the Earth for their loved ones—they are normal Americans with normal hearts, just like the rest of us....more
This week, VICE’s 2016 Fiction Issue is out, with work from exciting voices like Ottessa Moshfegh, Rachel Cusk, Roxane Gay, and more. This year’s fiction issue, like the magazine itself, is an engaging, diverse, and sometimes in-your-face read with topics ranging from smart cars to campus rape, love triangles to the meaning of life....more
Motherhood is an all-consuming thing. The sleepless nights, the endless diapers, the undying love, the absurd tasks that must be performed to ease a baby into nap time. But time and energy aren’t the only casualties of motherhood. In our culture, motherhood often demands one’s identity as well, consumes it whole as the woman becomes a public object for fawning over, for scrutinizing, for judging whether she measures up....more
Following last week’s election results, the writing world has been full of voices reminding us of the power of words to protest, to heighten awareness, and to effect change. Whether through poetry, essay, memoir, fiction, or otherwise, words are an important vehicle for reaching those who need support, challenging those who need to be called out, bearing witness to injustice, and raising visibility of marginalized groups....more
I may be a sixteen-year-old German-Irish girl living in flat Ohio, but West Side Story is a chute I slide down, and every day I’m a little more Marisol, working in a west-side dress shop and kissing Pepe on the fire escape.
Autumn is the season of change and, some say, death, as the leaves turn, the air cools, and the nights lengthen. Likewise, Halloween is not just a holiday for costumes and candy but also, at its untouched roots, a day for remembering loved ones passed....more