Don’t dis slang—it’s older than you are. Regarding the pain of fish (and humanities-loving robots). Fake scientists are real. Sexism messes up men’s mental health, too. Aimee Bender and the Ladies of Contemporary Fairytale.
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 […]
On Thursday, Guernica’s October issue went live with a fantastical tale of childhood by Sofi Stambo. “A Bunch of Savages,” which was chosen by Aimee Bender to win the Disquiet International Literary Program Award in fiction, follows a maybe gypsy, definitely poor family in Stambo’s native Bulgaria during communism. Poverty is apparent in the story, […]
This is the week of fantastical fiction, of the weird and the magical, of re-imagining fairy tales and urban legends, of making the familiar strange and the strange familiar. On Tuesday, a new edition of Angela Carter’s seminal 1979 story collection The Bloody Chamber was released to mark what would have been Carter’s 75th birthday, […]
Just in time for Valentine’s Day, Alissa Nutting has given us the story of a woman with a transparent panel covering her beating heart. Her story, “The Transparency Project,” arrived via Guernica online post on Tuesday. This story revives the playful Nutting of her 2010 story collection, Unclean Jobs for Girls and Women, after her […]
What is it about the stacks that gets everyone so hot and bothered? Over at The Millions, Elisabeth Cohen explores the Mary/Magdalene dichotomy in the figure of the female librarian: The whole good-natured romp of it bespeaks a clear message: Bad girls are redeemed in the library. Casually promiscuous would-be actresses can be reissued as […]
Every good story is rooted in conflict, and most of us learned the different types of conflict in our high school literature classes like clockwork, year in and year out: man v. man, man v. self, man v. society, man v. nature. To learn that last type, probably lots of us had to read Jack […]
The classic children’s book Goodnight Moon is a model example of successful narrative structure, argues Aimee Bender in the New York Times. The story follows enough traditional patterns to be satisfying, but also deviates in new and unique ways: “Goodnight Moon” does two things right away: It sets up a world and then it subverts […]
Somewhere between its Kmart and hysterical phases, literary realism got shaken up, when a group of young women writers began crafting a spectral brand of fantastical, strange fiction….Permeating the stories is a sense of omnipresent strangeness made visible. The Los Angeles Review of Books has a great piece on “our current bumper crop” of women writing—choose […]
Every Monday I link to very short fiction I like that I hope you’ll like too: “When we reach the street, the houses are dark, except for one—the grey one with the white trim, chain link fence, black oak tree.” — At Waccamaw, “A House Made of Stars” by Tawnysha Greene. “On the street the […]
Los Angeles centered, quarterly literary journal Slake is on its fourth publication. The “Dirt” themed issue features work from an array of talented writers including Lauren Groff, Luke Davies, Aimee Bender, Rumpus contributor Melissa Chadburn and columnist Antonia Crane.
Aimee Bender responds to Full Stop’s Situation in American Writing survey. Bender discusses literary criticism’s transition to the Internet, the political tendencies of American writing, and whether she imagines a specific audience for her work: “No, not a definite audience. Whoever responds to the work! Whoever catches (more or less) the ball I threw. My […]
In his introduction to the issue, guest editor Jim Shepard says, “I’ve been drawn to protagonists who are geniuses at knitting together self-indictment and self-exoneration in ways that are both unconscious and calculated. Protagonists who leave us to sort through what they’ve figured out, what they can’t figure out, and what they won’t try […]
This week in New York Stephen Colbert celebrates Ulysses, Lou Reed and Laurie Anderson are King and Queen of the Mermaid Parade, Heidi Julavits interviews Aimee Bender at Symphony Space, Gordon Lish MCs the NY Tyrant reading, Ann Beattie reads at Book Court, Mary Caponegro headlines the Big Other extravaganza, Light Industry presents short films […]