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short stories Archive

Review: THE STATE WE’RE IN: MAINE STORIES by Ann Beattie

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THE STATE WE’RE IN: MAINE STORIES Ann Beattie Scribner, Aug 2015 224 pages $25 buy: hardcover | eBook Maine, for Ann Beattie in her new collection, is a state of life, and that is the beautiful trick of the title, The State We’re In: Maine Stories. It is both

Review: NOTHING LOOKS FAMILIAR by Shawn Syms

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NOTHING LOOKS FAMILIAR Shawn Syms Arsenal Pulp Press Published in Canada September 2014; available elsewhere since May 2015 184 pages $15.95 Buy paperback | NOOK | Kindle Complex characters are damn hard to write. Perhaps this explains why contemporary fiction is full of characters designed to be relatable and easily digestible. These

An Interview with Jennine Capo Crucet

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I first met Jennine on the dance floor in a barn on a summer night at Breadloaf. Or at least I like to remember it that way. She’s an electric person, both in the flesh and on the page. She says the unexpected, and also the uncomfortable and necessary. She’s

The Best Short Story I Read in a Lit Mag This Week: “Stamp Fever” by Colette Inez

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What constitutes the difference between delusion and imagination? Where does one end and the other begin, or are they related at all? Colette Inez explores these intersections in her story “Stamp Fever” (The Georgia Review), from the perspective of a young boy struggling to overcome family difficulties. Our introduction to

The Best Short Story I Read in a Lit Mag This Week: “Volcano Climber” by Courtney Craggett

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Augustine of Hippo wrote “Hope has two beautiful daughters; their names are Anger and Courage. Anger at the way things are, and Courage to see that they do not remain as they are.” In her short story “Volcano Climber” (Juked), Courtney Craggett explores the nature of the first of

The Best Short Story I Read in a Lit Mag This Week: “Love” by Clarice Lispector

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There have been many craft essays written over the last few decades arguing the merits of the classic Joyce-ian epiphany. In “Love,” (The Offing), Clarice Lispector (translated by Katrina Dodson) explores the nature of epiphanies, and perhaps more importantly, what we do with them once they happen. We meet

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: “Oil Dog” by Kelly Dulaney

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It can be difficult to write short stories about large global issues—take, for instance, our worldwide dependency on fossil fuels—and not have it come off as preachy, in need of novel-length expansion, or as a coy thematic stand-in for our characters’ interior lives. Kelly Dulaney’s short story “Oil Dog”

Letter to Our Daughters: Do Not Be Good

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Dear Girls, I’ve come to believe that an author’s material arrives in the form of obsession, a need for the close and uncomfortable scrutiny of an idea. Last year I finished writing a book about women who weren’t traditionally “good.” I dedicated it to you. You might wonder why.

The Best Short Story I Read in a Lit Mag This Week: “Punkin” by Dawn S. Davies

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You could say sentences are to words what good border collies are to sheep: Each take a disorganized group of individuals and compel them to do the collective bidding of their respective bosses. Both the author and shepherd would have a very difficult time without them. But the analogy