Posts by: Claire Burgess

This Week in Short Fiction

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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 […]

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This Week in Short Fiction

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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, […]

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This Week in Short Fiction

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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. So, fittingly, the quarterly online literary magazine Psychopomp, named for […]

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This Week in Short Fiction

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With Halloween a scant three days away, it’s the perfect time to curl up with some spooky fiction and get yourself delightfully creeped out. But this week’s story doesn’t rely on your standard witches and vampires and werewolves, all easily dismissed and cartoonish Halloween fare. No, this week’s story, “The Insurgent” by Nicholas Rombes, features ghosts […]

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This Week in Short Fiction

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Sometimes, literary magazines fold. It happens all the time because of funding, or manpower, or editorial differences. Usually, print back issues remain for sale and online content is preserved indefinitely, or at least until someone forgets to renew the domain. But this does not seem to be the case with Black Clock, the respected literary […]

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This Week in Short Fiction

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What would you give to be happy, fun, anxiety-free? Would you give your soul? This is the question Deirdre Coyle asks in her story “Fun Person,” up at Hobart this week. The story opens with the narrator vomiting on the sidewalk outside of a bar, but not for the obvious reasons one might vomit in […]

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This Week in Short Fiction

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Remember the Choose Your Own Adventure books from the 80s and 90s? These were the ones in which you, yes you, the reader, were the protagonist of the story. You made the decision to go into the mysterious cave or not, or break into the creepy mansion or not, or attempt to tame the vicious […]

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This Week in Short Fiction

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This week, we all need a story with heart and teeth, a story that celebrates the glittering intelligence of women and the power of female friendship and dismantles the patriarchy while also being laugh-out-loud funny, a story with a happy ending. That story is Alice Kaltman’s “Boss Man” in the latest issue of Storychord, out […]

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This Week in Short Fiction

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This week (or month) in short fiction (and poetry), it’s National Translation Month! Each September, the National Translation Month (NTM) initiative, started in 2013, celebrates literary works in translation and promotes cross-cultural readership with offerings of exciting new translations on its website. The selections are released throughout the month and so far include poetry from […]

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This Week in Short Fiction

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Just over a year ago, Alexandra Kleeman’s much-praised debut novel You Too Can Have a Body Like Mine was published and hailed as a new kind of feminist post-modernism, merging surreal elements with incisive commentary on the culture of womanhood and bodies. (Some people, of course, hated it.) On Tuesday, Kleeman’s short story collection Intimations […]

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This Week in Short Fiction

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For a story in a different medium this week, check out Amber Sparks’s “Thirteen Ways to Destroy a Painting” from this year’s The Unfinished World—adapted to a radio play. It’s brought to your ears by NPR’s truly excellent storytelling podcast Snap Judgment and read by Thao Nguyen of the San Francisco-based folk-rock group Thao and The Get […]

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This Week in Short Fiction

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Granta’s summer issue is themed “The Legacies of Love,” and in a new story from the online issue, Glasgow-based writer Sophie Mackintosh strips love back to its animal bones in a story that is less rom-com and more Hunger Games, but without the love triangle. Murder class was the new thing, but of course they […]

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This Week in Short Fiction

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When The Bennington Review re-launched this past April after thirty years, its first issue packed a table of contents studded with prize-winning authors and exciting emerging voices. This week, to our good fortune, the biannual print publication has made several of its pieces available online, among them new short fiction from Iranian-American writer Porochista Khakpour, author […]

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This Week in Short Fiction

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Rion Amilcar Scott’s debut collection Insurrections—our July Rumpus Book Club pick—comes out from University Press of Kentucky on Tuesday and is a timely and vital look into the daily struggles of individuals in the mostly black community of Cross River, Maryland, a fictional town that was founded by slaves in 1807 after a successful revolt. (Read more […]

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This Week in Short Fiction

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Irish author Danielle McLaughlin didn’t start writing fiction until 2010, but in the years since she has amassed an impressive collection of writing awards, including the William Trevor/Elizabeth Bowen International Short Story Competition, and has twice placed stories in the New Yorker. Last year, her debut short story collection Dinosaurs on Other Planets was published across the pond […]

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This Week in Short Fiction

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The summer issue of Asymptote was published this week with a gorgeous spread of short fiction in translation from Spanish, Croatian, Persian, and more. If you’re not already familiar the journal, it publishes English translations of fiction, poetry, nonfiction, and more from across the globe (the website cites 105 countries and 84 languages so far) […]

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This Week in Short Fiction

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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, […]

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This Week in Short Fiction

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This week, Guernica has a new story from author and veteran Odie Lindsey, whose debut story collection about soldiers coming home from war, We Come to Our Senses, will be published by W.W. Norton later this month. Included in the collection, “Bird (on back)” picks up in the middle of a disintegrating relationship between an […]

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This Week in Short Fiction

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There’s a new short story by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie in the world this week, and it’s a Mrs. Dalloway-style imagination of a day in the life of Melania Trump as she plans a dinner party. The story, titled “The Arrangements,” is the New York Times Book Review’s first-ever commissioned piece of fiction (to be followed, […]

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This Week in Short Fiction

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This week at Recommended Reading, PEN America offers an excerpt from Brazilian author Noemi Jaffe’s novel Írisz: as orquídeas, which is remarkable for many reasons, one of them being that this is so far the only opportunity to read part of the Portuguese-language novel in English translation. Jaffe’s narrator, Írisz, has fled to Brazil from Hungary […]

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This Week in Short Fiction

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This week, Karen Russell of Swamplandia! fame has a new story in The New Yorker that unearths the self-deceptions beneath what we often think is love, and also unearths a body. In “The Bog Girl,” a teenage boy named Cillian digs up the 2,000-year-old body of a girl that has been perfectly preserved by a […]

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This Week in Short Fiction

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In a darkly humorous new story at n+1, Jen George questions the qualifications of being “adult,” gives thirty-somethings across the world nightmares, and packs in plenty of social criticism while she’s at it. The story, “Guidance/The Party,” follows a single, childless, career-less, 33-year-old woman who is visited by a mysterious Guide. The Guide has been […]

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This Week in Short Fiction: Goodnight, Beautiful Women by Anna Noyes

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[Noyes’s] stories are nuanced and unapologetic, revealing the shadow sides of women and girls in all their wild and terrible glory.

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This Week in Short Fiction

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Thomas Pierce made a name for himself as a talented spinner of strange stories with his debut collection Hall of Small Mammals, and in a new story at The Masters Review, Pierce crafts another weird and wonderful tale—and this time it’s written entirely in questions. “A Rouge Planet” plunges us into a universe where a […]

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This Week in Short Fiction

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This was the trouble with bringing a gun to work: you couldn’t stop thinking about it. This understatement comes from “Rutting Season,” a story by Mandeliene Smith in this week’s new issue of Guernica that flirts with every office worker’s worst nightmare—or secret fantasy—while exploring the divide between the public persona and the private self. […]

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This Week in Short Fiction

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British author Mark Haddon is best known for his smash hit of a first novel, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, but he’s far from a one-hit wonder. He’s penned two other novels, numerous youth titles, a volume of poetry, and now a collection of short stories. The Pier Falls, released this […]

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This Week in Short Fiction

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Some people write about dystopian futures, or reimagined folktales, or ghosts, or science fiction. Sequoia Nagamatsu, author of the upcoming story collection Where We Go When All We Were Is Gone, does it all. The debut collection, out this month from Black Lawrence Press, weaves Japanese folklore and pop culture into fantastical plots and futuristic […]

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This Week of Short Fiction

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New motherhood: it’s common but totally strange, completely natural yet weirdly alien, a beautiful miracle and absolutely disgusting. It can also have some strong effects on a woman’s perception of self and identity, as Helen Phillips (The Beautiful Bureaucrat) explores brilliantly in her story “The Doppelgängers,” chosen by Lauren Groff at Recommended Reading this week. […]

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This Week in Short Fiction

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As the stump speeches and primary dates continue to roll on and thousands of Americans develop stress ulcers, Darcey Steinke delivers a humorous and terrifying vision of our dystopian future should Donald Trump win the presidential election. “The Blue Toes,” over at Catapult, features a distinctly Trump-like figure called “the Tomato” and his followers, the […]

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This Week in Short Fiction

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If you’re not yet aware of the online magazine Storychord, take this chance to get acquainted. Each issue features a short story, a piece of visual art, and a musical composition, which combine to make a sort of multimedia storytelling triptych and a unique reading experience. In this week’s selection, Laura Bernard’s illustration of a […]

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