Things American: In the Air, Election Night 2016

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My ears won’t pop, and the bites on my right arm itch, my arm and neck—red flares I can’t ascribe to any particular predator, just marks of Texas. I get a second tiny bottle of whiskey. My taller-than-me daughter sleeps against my shoulder, too old these days, too grown up. We are over the Rockies, Denver to Helena, a tiny plane half full. I get the second whiskey because the flight attendant asks if I want another before she closes out her till. No flight attendant has ever asked me this. I will always have another if offered […]

Things American: Treatment vs. Healing

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1. The nurse woke me at four-thirty in the morning to take my blood. Someone else had taken it less than six hours before, in the emergency room, but pointing that out seemed disrespectful because he was a nurse with years of schooling behind him, and I was just another suicidal senior in high school. […]

Every Notebook, Photograph, and Letter: An Interview with Jan Ellison

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Jan Ellison’s debut novel, A Small Indiscretion, came out in paperback this spring. The book takes readers across decades and continents—from Berkeley to London and back again—to show us what happens to a happily married mother of three when the mistakes and youthful transgressions of years past unexpectedly turn up to meddle […]

Pride Is Every Month: A Short Reading List from Our Editors

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In 2016, there’s something almost anachronistic about creating a list of your favorite LGBTQ books. What kinds of books might qualify for such a list? Must the author identify as gay, bi, lesbian, trans, asexual or agender to be included? In putting together such a list, don’t you run the risk of unintentionally ghettoizing “LGBTQ books” and […]

Seeing Backward: An Interview with Whitney Terrell

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In the novels The Huntsman and The King of Kings County, Whitney Terrell tackled politically charged problems like housing segregation and institutional racism. Both novels are set in his hometown of Kansas City, Mo., the near epicenter of the United State where these issues have erupted on a national stage. Terrell’s third novel, The Good Lieutenant, features a protagonist from the same landscape, Emma Fowler, who attempts to escape it […]

Web Exclusive Interview: Kathryn Savage

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Kathryn Savage’s “Lesser Missiles” grabbed us from the first, spare, and startling sentences. Whenever this happens, we might cross our fingers and tense up a little, carried away by the momentum of the story but still conscious that we are rooting for the narrative to sustain that opening power, to not let us down. Kathryn’s story succeeds beautifully, and its final moments deliver us gently, without apology, to the vastness of our own vulnerabilities […]

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