NOTEBOOK FEATURE

CMBarnes_AuthorPhoto_SQUARE

Online Fiction Interview: C.M. Barnes

This month, I want to preface our online exclusive interview with an anecdote. In my first semester of graduate school, I taught an introductory creative writing class in which I received four—four!—stories that were about a dying or recently deceased grandmother. My first thought: why no dead grandfathers? My second thought: along with stories about car crashes and college keg parties, I must ban stories about dead or dying grandmothers in future classes, and that’s just what I did. It’s eight years later, and this month, ASF published C.M. Barnes’s “In Our Defense,” a story of the spreading of a dead matriarch’s ashes that’s recounted so beautifully and so interestingly that rather than banning my future students from writing “Dead Grandma” stories, I’m simply going to point them to this piece and say, “If you can’t write about a dead matriarch or patriarch this well, don’t try it yet.” [...]

CMBarnes_AuthorPhoto_SQUARE

Online Fiction Interview: C.M. Barnes

This month, I want to preface our online exclusive interview with an anecdote. In my first semester of graduate school, I taught an introductory creative writing class in which I received four—four!—stories that were about a dying or recently deceased grandmother. My first thought: why no dead grandfathers? My second thought: along with stories about car crashes and college keg parties, I must ban stories about dead or dying grandmothers in future classes, and that’s just what I did. It’s eight years later, and this month, ASF published C.M. Barnes’s “In Our Defense,” a story of the spreading of a dead matriarch’s ashes that’s recounted so beautifully and so interestingly that rather than banning my future students from writing “Dead Grandma” stories, I’m simply going to point them to this piece and say, “If you can’t write about a dead matriarch or patriarch this well, don’t try it yet.” [...]

Remember-Me-Like-ThisSQUARE-150x150

An Interview with Bret Anthony Johnston

Bret Anthony Johnston has the distinction of being among the few writers occupying that slim but coveted slice of the Venn diagram: creative writing directors who have also been pro skateboarders. His latest work, Remember Me Like This, is a quiet and rich novel centered around a teenage boy named Justin who is returned to his family four years after his kidnapping. [...]

Erica Plouffe Lazure_SQ

Online Fiction Interview: Erica Plouffe Lazure

Catherine, the devoted band mother in Erica Plouffe Lazure’s “Marchers,” is a wonderful example of just how affecting strong, straightforward, reliable narration can be. With an admitted pride in her son’s accomplishments and an implied annoyance at the petty goings-on of her small-town life in rural North Carolina, Catherine’s direct and clear narration makes the […]

Jan_Mankes_zelfportretSQUARE

Inside the Issue: An Excerpt from “Zone of Mutuality,” by Karl Taro Greenfeld

In “Zone of Mutuality,” the final story in Issue 58 of American Short Fiction, Karl Taro Greenfeld introduces us to Dwayne, a young man settling uneasily in to a perennial professional disappointment that threatens to swamp the rest of his life as well. […]

ASF READS