short story Archive

The Best Story I Read in a Lit Mag This Week: “Our Country” by Jill Schepmann

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You know you’re reading something lovely when you come across a line in a story that makes you stop reading, get out a pen, and draw a dark line across the page. (And you know it’s exceptional if you even have to get up out of your seat to

The Best Story I Read in a Lit Mag This Week: “Mort Naturelle” by Ricardo Nuila

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For most of us, our bodies can be mysteries, but in Ricardo Nuila’s story “Mort Naturelle,” we find them painfully explained. Here’s what happens to a spleen when a parachute doesn’t deploy; here’s how a jaw disappears when it’s been blasted with birdshot; here’s the sinewy tendons from a

The Best Story I Read in a Lit Mag This Week: “Wake Turbulence” by Laurie Ann Cedilnik

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As a recent transplant to New York from Arizona, I’ve been a little obsessed with place lately—about what the landscapes of home show us when we live inside them versus when we’re removed, what happens when we start seeing our surroundings as more than just background noise—so I was

The Best Story I Read in a Lit Mag This Week: “My Parasite” by Gina Frangello

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The thing about a well-developed setting is that in many ways it’s invisible: it’s hidden in a sentence that reveals a character’s flaw, it sits quietly beside an emotional truth, it’s the catalyst for a surprising behavior. Setting grounds us in a specific context so that we can believe

The Shelter of Neighbours

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The Shelter of Neighbours Eilis Ni Dhuibhne Blackstaff Press, September 2012 288 pages $27.95 One page into Eilis Ni Dhuibhne’s The Shelter of Neighbours I laughed out loud. And then, two stories later, with a carload of train passengers glancing my way, another audible chuckle. My laughing and grinning

Thomas Lee

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Thomas Lee’s story, “The Gospel of Blackbird,” appears in Winter 2011-12 issue, guest edited by Alice Hoffman. Lee was the 2011 Emerging Writers Contest winner. “The Gospel of Blackbird” opens with these lines: As John hurried to the resident locker room after doing his rounds as Columbia Presbyterian Hospital,

Rachel Kadish

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Rachel Kadish’s short story, “The Governess and the Tree,” appears in our Winter 2011-12 issue, guest edited by Alice Hoffman. “The Governess and the Tree” begins with these lines: Once, in the woods, a tree. Once in the woods there was a tree with the power to tell the

When Do I Have Enough Back Story?

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I had a great idea for a story. The main character is a 32-year-old actor who lives in Brooklyn. He is looking for his runaway sister, and… Wait. Actor? What kind of actor? What has he been in? Did he always want to be an actor? Most actors can’t

Joshua Howes

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Joshua Howes’ short story, “Run,” appears in our Winter 2011-12 issue, guest edited by Alice Hoffman. “Run” begins with these lines: This is a story about pretending. Imagine my father, a boy, not the old man who bought this shuttered house I have just cleaned out, here at the

William Giraldi

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William Giraldi’s short story, “Hold the Dark,” appears in our Winter 2011-12 issue, guest edited by Alice Hoffman. “Hold the Dark” opens with this passage: The wolves came down from the hills and carried away the children of Chinook. The village lay wedged into a horseshoe beneath those white