In Merrill Feitell’s “The Cupcake Factory,” we bear witness to a moment between siblings that we know will become, for one of them, a searing memory. We know because it’s told as if the scene is already crystallizing as it unfolds, and with a weight that can only manifest. We talked to Feitell about the story, cupcakes, long projects, point of view, and shameful stacks of unread books.
In November’s web exclusive, “America,” a white teenager in Ohio finds herself awakening in the body of the Puerto Rican “Marisol” from A West Side Story. The story is beguiling at first because of its voice and given the comic richness inherent in the world of high school theater. But then layer upon layer quickly opens up, revealing truths about identity via the innocence and volatility of adolescence. We chatted briefly with author Erin McGraw about appropriation, empathy, and identity in fiction […]
In September’s web exclusive story, “Lockwood,” a young boy gets a new neighbor, with whom he shares a brief friendship. The story’s brilliance is in how clearly it manifests in the mind, as if happened to you. And in many ways, it has—each of us has experienced a similar convergence of moment, setting, and person […]
July’s web exclusive story, “The Sun and the Pacific, Flowers,” is both a beautiful meditation on the passage of time and a careful, close look at a young person’s anxiety that she’s not doing or being quite enough. Writer Rose Gowen’s images and sensory details are stunning; the story is brimming over with oleander and hibiscus, rosemary, agave, palms, and citrus trees. The smells and sounds of the Santa Barbara coast […]
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 […]
What with baseball season now in full swing, May’s Web Exclusive Fiction is incredibly timely—and yet timeless. In “Your Father,” a dad and son try to connect through a televised baseball game. At its heart is a dilemma that has always played itself out and will continue to do so for as long as we have to contend with our parents’ identities and our own, regardless of the technology involved. We talked with author Daniel LoPilato about the parent-child struggle, identity, and irony. Basically, America. […]