Electric Literature's latest Recommended Reading pick, like Lindsay Hunter's Peggy Paula story of a few weeks ago, is a short and staggering piece of new fiction. "At the Fairmont" by Peter Orner details five days of thrilling, unstuck autonomy in a woman's life as she waits from her husband to come back from the war—and, upon his return, the resulting sense of thick physical finality that decouples love from expectation, and sets both ideas off at sharp angles, forever askew.
His voice echoing, booming off all that shiny porcelain. “What a life, what a life.” And what surprised her most was how unvoracious he was. She’d prepared [...]
The old nativity scene we put up on the church lawn was made of white plastic that lit up at night, bright slashes of paint for beards and eyes and hair. The figures — one Mary, one Joseph, one Jesus, two shepherds, one angel, three wise Men, and a camel — had always glowed cheap and cheerful under their straw hutch. And they were light enough that it only took a couple volunteers from the youth group to set them up (and untangle their wires, and enjoy the scene with hot apple cider in little styrofoam cups).
This year, though, the plastic figurines had flickered and then gone dark [...]
Ilana Sichel has a fantastic interview with Libyan novelist and Booker Prize shortlistee Hisham Matar over at Fiction Writers Review, which is a bit of a bookend to that essay of Uzodinma Iweala's we were discussing earlier this week.
I admire intellectuals but I don’t feel I am one. I think of myself as an artist who is using words.
There are so many different definitions of an intellectual, but one of the possible definitions is sort of a moralist in the French tradition, the sense that you are attending to current events and calling things by their name. I’ve done a lot of this recently, but I [...]