Web Exclusive Interview: Jensen Beach

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David Foster Wallace said that fiction is “one of the few experiences where loneliness can be both confronted and relieved.” In our March Web Exclusive story, “To God Belongs What He Has Taken,” Jensen Beach deftly places us in the mind of a Stockholm woman caught up in a fantasy about a stranger. It is a subtle and detailed snapshot of a form of loneliness so universal that […]

To God Belongs What He Has Taken

(c) Peter Tanlund via Flickr Creative Commons

Marie buys her morning coffee at the convenience store on the corner of her block. One of the men who works there is named Ahmed. He is Iraqi. When he laughs, which he does often, his enormous belly shakes. She likes Ahmed. She’s been buying her coffee from him since she’s lived on this block, almost two years. In a week, the sale on her apartment, her first, will be final, and she and her daughter Tove will move in with Lennart. Marie has been marking this change by counting down the days until she will no longer buy her coffee from Ahmed’s store. […]

The Hungry Valley

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Now he fed his horses too much rich corn sweetened with molasses: their middles were round and taut as barrels, and their hooves curled, and instead of nipping and tossing about like they had in the past, they loitered at the gate all day, calling out to him whenever he passed. His old dog he fed too much kibble and too many table scraps: its back was strangely broad and thin of hair like a threadbare piece of overstuffed furniture, and it could no longer move quickly nor jump with ease. The cats lapped milk from pie tins on the barn floor […]

Web Exclusive Interview: Kathryn Scanlan

Photo credit: Roxane Hopper

Winter is a time for compression—shortened days, confinement indoors, a turning inward. But compression produces something nuclear-hot and energetic, and our February Web Exclusive, “The Hungry Valley,” is a stellar example of this. Author Kathryn Scanlan helps us explore how this is achieved in writing.

“The Hungry Valley” also appears in our Winter issue. […]

Web Exclusive Interview: Kyle Langston

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Our January Web Exclusive, “Winston” is one of those stories that gets under your skin and stays there. Its power is owed to precise, enduring images; the relatable longing of its characters; and beginning-to-end tension.  Really, it gave us a lot of feelings—which we then discussed with author Kyle Langston. […]

Winston

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He killed a hare and removed its heels, yanked from the meat of each haunch the bone he did not know to be the tibia. He laid the leg bones parallel on the flattest nearby stone and split the wide end of both with one press of his Bowie. He set each in a convenient niche that was the absence of a second premolar, sucked loose marrow while he worked skinning the leporid and stringing it above a new fire, his lips pinned back by the bones. […]

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