Posts Tagged: short fiction

This Week in Short Fiction

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This week, a story at Smokelong Quarterly instructs us on how to become a new person. The title of Rebecca Bernard’s story, “How to Be Another Person in Five Days,” plays humorously with the trope of familiar self-help programs and fad diets that promise a “new you” in x amount of time, but the story itself is anything but light and fluffy.

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Worlds Full of Demons: Chavisa Woods’s Things to Do When You’re Goth in the Country

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We must ask ourselves: who stands in the shadows of our national persona, both historically and in the nation’s literature? Woods raises the question, and her work points toward an answer. ...more

Rumpus Original Fiction: Day of the Dead

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Octavio is tired, tired of trying to separate what he remembers so vividly from the memories he can barely make out in the fog. ...more

What We’re Reading in June!

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We’re excited to share that our June Book Club pick is The Tower of the Antilles by Achy Obejas! The Cubans in Obejas’s new story collection are haunted by an island: the island they fled, the island they’ve created, the island they were taken to or forced from, the island they long for, the island they return to, and the island that can never be home again.

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This Week in Short Fiction

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This week, a short story in the new issue of Cosmonauts Avenue turns the flashlight onto a slumber party, and not the fantasy pillow-fight and popcorn kind, but the more true-to-life kind, complete with paranormal library books, urban legends, sneaking out, and scaring the crap out of each other.

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Rumpus Original Fiction: Straw House

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“It’s not healthy, how you live. People aren’t meant to sleep all day. We need the sun. We’re meant to live in the sun.” ...more

This Week in Short Fiction

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The PEN America World Voices Festival, a weeklong international literary festival that focuses on human rights, is ongoing in New York City this week, and this year’s theme of gender and power seems more pertinent and urgent than ever. While over 150 writers from across the globe gather at the festival to bridge borders through the power of words, Electric Literature has opened its Recommended Reading archives to those of us who can’t be in NYC, offering eleven short stories and a poem that examine gender’s power and its bonds, that question its limitations and celebrate its liberation.

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The Rumpus Mini-Interview Project #81: Chanelle Benz

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Chanelle Benz’s debut collection, The Man Who Shot Out My Eye Is Dead, is filled with characters often facing a moral crossroads. The stories contain the unexpected, like a classic Western complete with local brothel as well as a gothic tale.

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This Week in Short Fiction

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This week, Canadian-British author Alison MacLeod mixes fiction with fact and memoir with metaphysics in a short story about a visit to Sylvia Plath’s grave. At Lit Hub, “Sylvia Wears Pink in the Underworld” takes what could otherwise be an item on a tourist’s agenda or an assignment in a ninth grade English class and transmutes it into a piece of writing that walks the edge of beauty and darkness as it pays homage to one of literature’s most mysterious and tragic celebrities.

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Storytelling Is a Search: An Interview with Sequoia Nagamatsu

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Sequoia Nagamatsu discusses his debut collection Where We Go When All We Were Is Gone, grief as a character, and the intersection of ancient myth and the modern world. ...more

This Week in Short Fiction

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At the PEN America awards ceremony on Monday evening, writer Amy Sauber received the PEN/Robert J. Dau Short Story Prize for Emerging Writers for her short story “State Facts for the New Age,” a Rumpus Original Fiction piece published in September 2016.

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Lesley Nneka Arimah’s Characters Muscle Their Way through Girlhood

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In our current political climate with its rampant animosity towards immigrants, Arimah offers a humanizing portrait of both the Nigerian citizen and first generation young female immigrant. ...more

This Week in Short Fiction

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This week, a woman mysteriously becomes pregnant with a lizard egg in a short story at Guernica that is weird, funny, and surprisingly sweet. By Benjamin Schaefer, Prose Editor of Fairy Tale Review, “Lizard-Baby” explores themes of motherhood, difference, and community, and all through the fresh new lens of immaculate lizard-birth.

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This Week in Short Fiction

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At Catapult, Arielle Robbins writes a powerful story of coping with the legacy of sexual abuse. “From the Abuse Survivor’s Workbook” delivers the story, as the title suggests, in segments from the guided-journaling workbook sometimes prescribed as part of therapy, offering glimpses into the memories, anxieties, and daily life of the story’s survivor, Brie.

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Rumpus Original Fiction: Summer of Families

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“What do you think about this,” he said, measured and cool. “What if we offer a service where people can pay to be in our family, but only for a few hours.” ...more

The Rumpus Interview with Viet Thanh Nguyen

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Viet Than Nguyen discusses his story collection The Refugees, growing up in a Vietnamese community in San Jose in the 1980s, and the power of secondhand memories. ...more

This Week in Short Fiction

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This week, the bimonthly magazine of international literature World Literature Today released its March 2017 issue, with the timely theme “Dystopian Visions.” The issue features thirteen writers’ dark speculations on the future, crossing the globe from Cuba to Japan. In this time in the United States when dystopian fiction isn’t seeming quite so fictional anymore, the international voices contained in this issue are illuminating and chilling, highlighting themes of autocracy, bureaucracy, government rhetoric, and class stratification, to name a few.

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The Rumpus Mini-Interview Project #73: Maggie Shipstead

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I first met Maggie Shipstead in 2011 when she was a Stegner Fellow at Stanford University. She had not yet published her first novel, Seating Arrangements, which would later become a New York Times bestseller, but even then the magnitude of her ambition, shrewdness, and intellectual generosity was evident.

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The Mirror’s Shards

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In the face of colossal and destructive political lies, we need a more nuanced understanding of the world than simply truth versus lie. ...more

The Rumpus Interview with George Saunders

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George Saunders discusses his new (and first) novel Lincoln in the Bardo, Donald Trump, and a comprehensive theory of literature. ...more

This Week in Short Fiction

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This week, Joyland has a new story from poet and fiction writer Joanna C. Valente about gender, sexual intercourse, and sexual violence. Their story, “You’re Gonna Scream When You Die,” opens with a scene that immediately backs up the dire tone of the title.

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This Week in Short Fiction

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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.

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War Narratives #8: Flashes of War by Katey Schultz

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Schultz enables readers to see past their own perspectives and empathize with both the Afghan child and the American war widow. ...more