fiction Archive

Fiction Responding to Fiction: Flannery O’Connor and Alice Munro

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Munro has spoken about her debt to American writers from the South, including O’Connor, and we can clearly see how “Save the Reaper” is responding to O’Connor’s story by touching on similar themes and even moments, and yet spinning off from the original in true Munro fashion.

New Ploughshares Solo Now Available!

We’re excited to announce the release of our November Solo, “A History of China” by Carolyn Ferrell.  Following the death of her father, Sasha Jean attends a family reunion, after years of estrangement, with the uncomfortable knowledge that she has inherited the estate where her relatives live. “A History of China” explores the multi–generational

In Bookstores Near You: OUR HEARTS WILL BURN US DOWN by Anne Valente

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Anne Valente’s debut novel, Our Hearts Will Burn Us Down, does not begin with the shattering moment when Caleb Raynor enters Lewis and Clark High School and opens fire—a moment that surely warrants the dimming of the lights, the rising of a curtain. But no, in Valente’s narrative, the

Review: PATRICIDE by D. Foy

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The protagonist in D. Foy’s second novel is that angry young kid whose pain and shame he cannot express except in strange orthogonal ways, ways that will only deepen his pain and shame, not alleviate them. But Foy allows us inside that boy’s beleaguered brain box and we feel

Parents Experimenting On Their Children in Fiction

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It’s unsurprising that parenting is fertile ground for novelists. There are plenty of stories, both in fiction and in real life, of parental sacrifice for the sake of children. More surprising are the accounts of parents using their children for the sake of their work.

On Intimacy: Elena Ferrante & Stacey D’Erasmo

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It seems as though people do not want to believe that fiction can be intimate—that is: detailed, personal, private, sacred, something with which readers feel closely acquainted or familiar. It is especially surprising if it is also broad, and that one book can accomplish both apparently astounds reviewers.

On Compromise and Character

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In The Bay of Angels, author Anita Brookner examines female relationships with unflinching scrutiny. Sometimes I felt like a bug trapped under a hand lens on the pavement, squirming with discomfort, somewhat scorched by the proximity of her fictional approximations and truth.

Review: THE CHILDREN by Ann Leary

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When I recently entered Ann Leary’s, The Good House, I found myself enjoying some of the quirkiest, most human, and authentically rendered company in Leary’s characters, each of which inspired me to get to know more of her work.

How One Publisher Sparked a Rebirth of Turkey’s Greek History

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On the flight back to Istanbul, I hold one of the first books put out by Istos Publishing in my hands. Out of the press’s slim, silver-colored bilingual Greek-Turkish edition of Nikos Kazantzakis’s The Ascetic (Ασκητική-Çileci), the publishing house’s logo pops out in gold, almost holographic. I turn the

In Bookstores Near You

In 2004, the state of Texas most likely executed an innocent man, Cameron Todd Willingham, for the murder of his three young children, who died in a fire in their family home. Arson experts later determined the fire was not intentionally set, and the story quickly became enmeshed in