The Long and Short of Stories


Long: Chinese novelist Zhang Wei’s book, You Are on the Highland, is 10 volumes, took him to 22 years to finish, and may be China’s longest novel ever. This year, the book(s?) won Zhang China’s Mao Dun Literature Prize.

Short: Illustrator Lou Beach’s new book, 420 Characters, is a collection of short stories limited to the 420 limit Facebook used to impose on status updates.

An excerpt: HE CALLED AGAIN. I accepted the charges of course, paid no attention to what he was saying, it’s always the same story. I focused on the background noise — the grunts and rough laughter, the shouting. Once I heard a scream, his receiver clattered against the wall, the line went dead. I picture the wall, men leaning against it, scratching names and pictures into it, waiting for their turn. I try to imagine the smell. I can’t.


LaToya Jordan is a writer from Brooklyn, New York. She is the author of the poetry chapbook, Thick-Skinned Sugar (Finishing Line Press, 2015) and her work has been listed as notable in Best American Essays 2016. Her writing has appeared in Mobius: The Journal of Social Change, Mom Egg Review, Poets & Writers, The Rumpus, and more. Visit her at More from this author →