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
Posts Tagged: Virginia Quarterly Review
Yesterday at the bus stop a fellow creature the gym ladies call “that particular element” asked for a hand—out, job, shake, off. That’s the door being female in public is walking through. It’s a drag, but mostly it’s ice cream on the sidewalk and shrugging.
It’s July, and the summer issues of literary magazines are rolling off both the physical and cyber presses, including Virginia Quarterly Review, which this week shared a story from its summer print issue online. In “Dixon” by Bret Anthony Johnston, author of the bestselling novel Remember Me Like This and the award-winning collection Corpus Christi, a father risks border patrol agents and losing his job to illegally sell a shipment of Dairy Queen kid’s meal toys in an effort to save his daughter....more
You know it’s fall because of the crisp air, the changing leaves, the decorative gourds, and, most importantly, because the fall issues of literary magazines are launching. This week was Virginia Quarterly Review’s turn. On Monday, its Fall 2015 issue dropped with five stories from Ann Beattie, Richard Bausch, Taylor Antrim, Praveen Krishna, and Elliott Holt....more
If you’re looking for something to read over the Fourth of July weekend, you’re in luck. This week gave us brand-new issues of Virginia Quarterly Review and PANK to peruse in the beer-buzzed downtime between barbecues and fireworks.
VQR’s summer issue is all about California, “as an idea and a place,” as the Editor’s Note says....more
Jessica B. Harris writes about her collection of historic postcards and the unique slice-of-life perspective offered by the 19th century postcard form. Harris has cultivated her postcard collection for decades with a focus on “depicting Africans in their homeland and in the diaspora with food: fishing, farming, vending, serving, and consuming.” This essay appears in the Spring 2015 issue of the Virginia Quarterly Review....more
How can writers get a room of their own, literally or figuratively? In Away, an essay in the summer issue of the Virginia Quarterly Review, Roxana Robinson writes about carving out private space in the midst of being over-saturated by the world around you:
You can call it a blessing, I suppose: You’re never bored.
All of this American productivity, but cui bono? The answer is actually a little harder to get to than it seems. The Virginia Quarterly Review reports:
One might be forgiven for asking what, exactly, all this productivity is for. “We busted our butts to get where we were at,” Ricky Lack said the first time we spoke.
Independent publishers are producing literature, Chris Fischbach writes in the Virginia Quarterly Review, which is not the same thing as what commercial publishers are printing. Fischbach (a publisher at Coffee House Press) goes on to explain a duality similar to that of Chad Harbach’s MFA vs NYC—if there are two competing writing identities, one is premised on earning money while the other focuses on artistic expression:
Literature is not the same thing as publishing.
If you liked David Biepsiel’s State of American Poetry address, here’s a nice counterpart by Natasha Trethewey at the Virginia Quarterly Review.
“Despair about the place of poetry in American culture is nothing new,” she begins, and goes on to write about the necessity and indelibility of poetry at the most basic levels:
For all of that, poetry is the corrective, the sacred language that allows us to connect across time and space, across all the things in everyday life that separate us and would destroy us.
To many Americans, fashion is a frivolous distraction. To many women in Namibia, it’s an expression of identity hammered out of years of tradition, culture, colonialism, and genocide.
Catherine E. McKinley writes about it in fascinating detail for the Virginia Quarterly Review, with incredible photos by Thabiso Sekgala to match....more
What is particularly crucial to understand is that books were not dragged kicking and screaming into each new area of capitalism. Books not only are part and parcel of consumer capitalism, they virtually began it.
In an essay for the Virginia Quarterly Review, former head of Soft Skull Press Richard Nash explores the business of literature with an almost alarming degree of thoroughness....more
If you simply can’t wait for the publishing-industry process to put that book in your hands, you can sate your appetite with Petersen’s longform piece “The Rules of the Game,” which appears in the latest issue of Virginia Quarterly Review....more
A Rumpus Meditation on Editors, Ambition, and Angry Dependence (in 33 loosely jointed parts):
1. On July 30, the managing editor of the Virginia Quarterly Review, Kevin Morrissey, took his life. His note stated that he “just couldn’t bear it anymore.”...more
With newspapers folding and cutting corners all around the country, it’s easy to give up entirely on the fourth estate. But now look who’s riding in on their white horse: those writers you newspaper types wouldn’t give jobs to before because they tried to make their articles all “literary.” Take that, 5 W’s....more
The piece, entitled “Beirut Rising,” “entertains with its amusing depiction of the Lebanese passion for plastic surgery, but the essay also penetrates deep into to the sadness at the city’s core.”
In order to highlight the piece, VQR‘s Anna Sheaffer asked Michelle 6 questions to “get her thoughts on Beirut’s political future, travel writing, and reporting in territory where journalists are suspect.”...more