NOTEBOOK FEATURE

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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. As we wrote in our introductory note to the issue, Dwayne, “a ‘personal banker’ in a small bank branch whose title and cheap black suit belie the essential sordidness of the job, moves through the indignities that make up his working day with a passivity that is not quite rooted enough to dull his awareness of them.” But Greenfeld relieves the everyday grimness of his subject with spiky humor that had us laughing aloud, and the targets of his pointed pen are never the characters themselves—those he handles with gentle respect, allowing them happiness in the least likely of circumstances. You’ll find an excerpt from “Zone of Mutuality” after the jump. To read the rest of the story, pick up a copy of the issue from our store. […]

Jan_Mankes_zelfportretFEATURE

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. As we wrote in our introductory note to the issue, Dwayne, “a ‘personal banker’ in a small bank branch whose title and cheap black suit belie the essential sordidness of the job, moves through the indignities that make up his working day with a passivity that is not quite rooted enough to dull his awareness of them.” But Greenfeld relieves the everyday grimness of his subject with spiky humor that had us laughing aloud, and the targets of his pointed pen are never the characters themselves—those he handles with gentle respect, allowing them happiness in the least likely of circumstances. You’ll find an excerpt from “Zone of Mutuality” after the jump. To read the rest of the story, pick up a copy of the issue from our store. […]

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Bourbon and Milk: “Are You the Mother?”

“Mama,” my three-year-old son says a hundred times a day, right before he asks for something—a hug, a glass of milk, a kiss, a Netflix show, a toy that I have hidden up high because he whacked me with it—and I respond immediately, instinctively. I hear Mama and I think, me. I don’t even think it, really. I turn automatically, just as I have for my whole life at the sound of my name. [...]

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An Interview with Marie-Helene Bertino

I first met Marie-Helene Bertino last summer, when she was my workshop instructor at the One Story Workshop for Writers. In person, she is meticulous, charming, and bright. And her writing is the same. Her short story, “Carry Me Home, Sisters of Saint Joseph,” was first published in Issue 47 of American Short Fiction. Her second book, 2 A.M. at The Cat’s Pajamas, will be published this August by Crown.

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Online Fiction Interview: Kathleen Founds

In recent months, we’ve had the very great pleasure of publishing lots of terrific stuff online—and we’ve we’ve covered a lot of ground, topically. From an epistolary piece that used the format of a student evaluation form as its scaffolding to a naturalistic piece about a recently returned veteran and his do-gooder brother-in-law, we’ve aimed to mix it up in this space. We’ve taken that to a new extreme this month, as we published “The Wormhole” by Kathleen Founds. […]

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