Web Exclusive Interview: Michael Powers

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In February’s Web Exclusive, “Lake House,” a couple has retired to a remote location. We know there is tension between them, and between the narrator and his adult son, but the origins and causes of this tension are only hinted at, the way a painting focuses its composition by suggesting some elements and detailing others. Our more detailed image is that of a drone silently making its way across the treetops […]

Ex Marks the Spot: a Review of Mary Miller’s Always Happy Hour

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Always Happy Hour, Mary Miller’s second collection of stories, opens with the strangest dedication I have ever read: “For my exes.” Why would one dedicate anything to one’s exes? And not just one ex–not, say, “The One I’m Still Friends With”–but all of them, wholesale? At once blunt and tender, impersonal and twistedly sweet […]

Editorial Outtakes: Mike Scalise

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Editorial Outtakes is a feature in which we publish excerpts from recent books that you won’t find anywhere else because, prior the publication, these sections were cut. This installment of Editorial Outtakes features writer Mike Scalise, author of The Brand New Catastrophe, reflecting on some of the particularities of revealing character details in nonfiction. […]

Contest Closed: American Short(er) Fiction Contest

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The American Short(er) Fiction Contest is now closed. Thank you all for your submissions. This year we are honored to have Justin Torres as our guest judge.  The winners will be announced on this site. The first-place winner will receive a $1,000 prize and publication in a future issue of ASF. […]

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 […]

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