literary journal Archive

Best Short Story I Read in a Lit Mag This Week: “Wagyu Fungo” by Soon Wiley

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I remember a conversation I had with a professor in grad school, where we discussed the various blessings and difficulties of trying to produce art using the same materials—language—used for so many other, less graceful, purposes (for example, junk mail and mudslinging). In “Wagyu Fungo,” (Harpur Palate) explores a

The Best Short Story I Read in a Lit Mag This Week: “Sudden Squall” by Judy Reeves

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Leaving one’s spouse takes a lot of courage, and in the culture of the 1950s, that was even more the case. In “Sudden Squall” (Connotation Press), Judy Reeves explores a mother making that difficult choice, employing a particular sentence structure to shape the thematic content and reveal her protagonist’s character. Two

The Best Short Story I Read in a Lit Mag This Week: “Golden Land” by Sunisa Nardone

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The ways in which we humans find our sense of community and identity—nationality, race, religion, class, family etc.—are often also what make connecting with people that don’t share our backgrounds more difficult. Sunisa Nardone’s “Golden Land” (Atlas and Alice) explores the many obstacles facing strangers struggling to connect while awaiting

The Best Short Story I Read in a Lit Mag This Week: “Fatherhood” by David Rutschman

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How many words does it take to encapsulate a feeling? An experience? A story we looked at two weeks ago, “Love” by Clarice Lispector, spends just under 3,500 words exploring its title, where Jonathan Franzen’s Freedom takes well over 500 pages plumbing its own. While “Fatherhood” by David Rutschman

The Best Short Story I Read in a Lit Mag This Week: “Fanfare” by Bruno Nelson

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Wake up one morning and go to the nearest busy street and sit down on a bench and watch how people walk. Their gait, their posture, their stride, their tempo—these could all tell us a little something about their lives and how they interact with the world. I see

The Best Short Story I Read in a Lit Mag This Week: “Crash Sheep Plant” by Emily Abrons

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Last week’s column discussed the nature of perception, and the way in which Dan Reiter’s “Shifts” revealed how one mind might battle over the interpretation of the same event. In this week’s story, “Crash Sheep Plant” (Alice Blue Review 26), Emily Abrons juxtaposes a car crash with grazing sheep

The Best Short Story I Read in a Lit Mag This Week: “Davenports and Ottomans” by Stefanie Freele

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Throughout our youth we’re hard-wired to look to the adults in our lives for ideas of who we want to be. Who we are, though, often seeks to establish itself in spite of those desires. Stefanie Freele’s flash fiction piece “Davenports and Ottomans” (Tahoma Literary Review Vol. 2, No.

The Best Short Story I Read in a Lit Mag This Week: “Day Trip” by Noelle Catharine Allen

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There’s a wonderful history of short stories where a character’s physical ills work as a metaphor representing larger problems, both personal and societal. For instance, in Julio Cortázar’s “Letter to a Lady in Paris,” the protagonist regularly vomits live rabbits, a reality we come to realize not only provides

The Best Short Story I Read in a Lit Mag This Week: “Miniature Lives of the Saints” by Anthony Wallace

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Physical beauty is like an innate talent or gift in that it can provide wonderful opportunities to its possessor that aren’t as easily available to others, if at all. But every blessing can also be a curse. In “Miniature Lives of the Saints” by Anthony Wallace (Missouri Review 38:1)

The Best Short Story I Read in a Lit Mag This Week: “The Lips the Teeth the Tip of the Tongue” by Jessica Richardson

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There is some form of self-expression in everything we do. Within the arts—writing fiction, for example—there is a spectrum to how overtly that self-expression is shown. Some authors prefer to make their authorial voice as invisible, or “objective” as possible, while others make quite clear through various means that