Virginia Quarterly Review Archive

The Best Essay I Read This Month: “Antarctic Dreams” by Douglas Fox

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Reported essays often forget either the ability to be literary in their writing, or else overcompensate for such and crowd out the facts with flowery prose. A balanced one is a pleasure to read, as with Douglas Fox’s “Antarctic Dreams” in the Spring 2016 issue of Virginia Quarterly Review.

The Best Short Story I Read in a Lit Mag This Week: “Nashua” by Sara Majka

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A critique often heard in creative writing workshops is that the protagonist of a story is too observational—read: passive—and not enough involved in the action, rendering a story that is either too “quiet” or a protagonist with too little at stake in the outcome of the plot. I think

The Best Essay I Read This Month: “Good For You” by Scott Korb

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There have already been many great essays of 2016, but what really stuck to me this month was Scott Korb’s “Good For You” in the Winter 2016 issue of the Virginia Quarterly Review. The essay spans a lot of life’s bigger touchpoints—cancer, spirituality, parenting, aging and the prospect of

The Best Short Story I Read in a Lit Mag This Week: “Keller in Effects” by Todd James Pierce

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There’s a rich body of art that could be described by that famous quote by Thoreau from Walden, “The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation”—art in particular focusing on the upper class of the 50s and 60s. Think of Richard Yates’ Revolutionary Road, or more recently the