Issue 17 of Cutleaf is live. In this issue, Melissa Helton shares two poems beginning with “The Teenager Has Gone Witchy.” Hanna Ferguson uses food to recount important moments in her life in “An In-Progress Cookbook of Recipes That Stick to My Ribs.” And Joan Wickersham prepares for Halloween with the best of intentions in the short story “The Subterranean Calendar.” Learn about this issue’s images at the Mag Stand.
Jews were attacked in a series of pogroms and subjected to systematic oppression during the late nineteenth and early 20th century, scapegoated as the cause of political and economic upheaval. These pogroms and the long history of limiting Jewish movement in Eastern Europe foreshadowed the Holocaust. These awful conditions intensified as nationalist movements and state-sanctioned violence grew.
Textbooks can present us with facts, but literature allows us to feel the stories history hopes we will hear. In his absorbing and graceful debut novel, Horodno Burning, author Michael Freed-Thall brings us into the heart of a family forever transformed by persecution. [Read more…] about ‘Horodno Burning’
Volume 13 of Consequence journal is now available! We’ve undergone a number of major changes since our founder, George Kovach, passed away last year, but what hasn’t changed in the least is our commitment to bringing you astounding prose, poetry, visual art, and translations that address the human consequences and realities of war and geopolitical violence. See what you can find in this issue at the Mag Stand.
The September/October 2021 issue of the Kenyon Review features the winners of the 2021 Patricia Grodd Poetry Prize for Young Writers; stories by Heather Bourbeau, Catherine Carberry, Marcela Fuentes, and Bess Winter; and an essay by Laurie Kutchins. See poetry contributors at the Mag Stand.
The centerpiece of The Body is an aging playwright who accepts a very tempting offer to have his mind transplanted into a younger physique. He obviously then faces the extreme consequences of his decision to chase his vanished youth.
Hanif Kureishi’s insights into the human condition are on point. This novel is very well written and carries a hint of rare warmth and humanity. Kureishi has this certain intensity and integrity of vision which makes this book ten times more impressive. This volume of fiction is a must read!
The Body by Hanif Kureishi. Scribner Book Company, April 2011.
Reviewer bio: I am Kirpa, a bibliophile and student who loves to dive in the sea of books and reviewing them for others. I also write as it’s one of my major interests. I hope I was able to help you out!
Buy this book from our affiliate Bookshop.org.
Occasionally, you come across a book that is so unusual, so original that it stops you in your tracks. Case in point: West with Giraffes by Lynda Rutledge. The novel was Inspired by a true event—two giraffes in transit aboard the SS Robin Goodfellow from Africa to America shipwrecked in the 1938 “Long Island Express” hurricane. The tale is narrated by 105-year-old Woodrow Wilson Nickel from his VA hospital room as, in a race against time, he records the events of a short, pivotal period from his early life.
The year is 2025 and many species of wildlife, including giraffes, are near extinction thanks to us humans. At 17 Woody was orphaned, escaped the Dust Bowl, and made it to New York City where he got wind of the plan to transport the two stranded giraffes from New York to the San Diego Zoo. The novel recounts the audacious ocean to ocean odyssey. Woody steals a bicycle and takes off after old man Riley Jones who has been hired by San Diego Zoo doyenne Belle Benchley to transport the “towering creatures of God’s pure Eden.” Also hot on the tail of Riley Jones and the giraffes is “Red,” a pin-up pretty, young redheaded Margaret Bourke-White wannabe.
Part road trip, part coming of age story, part unrequited love story, the novel is studded with meticulously researched historical references. Woody and Riley’s journey takes them on the southern route through the Jim Crow south and across the Texas panhandle where Woody must face memories from his own tragic past. At the heart of the novel is the concept of home. As Riley says to Woody, “Home’s not the place you’re from, Woody. Home’s the place you want to be.” A wonderful, heart-warming story perfect for these dark times.
West with Giraffes by Lynda Rutledge. Lake Union Publishing, February 2021.
Reviewer bio: Cindy Dale has published over twenty short stories in literary journals and anthologies. She lives on a barrier beach off the coast of Long Island.
Buy this book from our affiliate Bookshop.org.
The cover of the MacGuffin’s Vol. 37.2 is a postcard, painted by featured artist Kathleen Frank, sent from summer vacation. Travel stories abound: hike to ESSNWNAU-AL in Gracjan Kraszewski’s “First Impressions” and fly out to Saskatchewan on a brief hunt for truth and a certain mythological creature in Alexander Wentzell’s “Big Feet.” Check out what other pieces are in this issue at the Mag Stand.
Jewish Fiction .net announces a beautiful new Rosh Hashana issue! Here you’ll find 12 delightful stories, as refreshing as apples and as sweet as honey, originally written in five languages: Czech, Hungarian, Yiddish, Hebrew, and English. The Czech story, “Luck,” is the first one we’ve published translated from that language, and this brings to 17 the number of languages represented in Jewish Fiction .net. See what else is in this issue at the Mag Stand.
The September issue of The Dillydoun Review is here! Short stories by Chaya Kahanovitch, Amelia Kleiber, Liam Strong, and A. Whittenberg; flash fiction by Catherine Chang, Sarah Enamorado, Bob McNeil, Marcelo Medone, Mark Putzi, Gary Reddin, and Sky Sprayberry; flash nonfiction by Wendy BooydeGraaff, Marco Etheridge, Melanie Kallai, and Maggie Walcott. Find this issue’s poetry contributors at the Mag Stand.
In this issue of Cutleaf, Peggy Xu remembers the joy of culinary whiplash that results when food and culture combine in “Yam’Tcha.” David B. Prather shares three poems beginning with one that takes us into the beautiful mind of “The Boy in the High School Science Room.” And Ray Trotter depicts a scene of speculation and frustration when two men wonder what’s inside a locked workshop in “Scavengers.” Learn about this issue’s images at the Mag Stand.
Sometimes after reading a story, I want to know more about it—what the inspiration was and what went into writing the piece. Southern Humanities Review quenches that thirst for answers in their “Features” section on their website, providing the occasional interview with a contributor of their print journal. Right now, readers can find an interview with Leslie Blanco, whose short story “A Sane Person Doesn’t Do Something Like That” is in Volume 54 Number 2 of Southern Humanities Review. The story “examines the strain in the marriage of Yvelis and Hector during the Cuban Revolution.”
Blanco and interviewer Caitlin Rae Taylor discuss the motivations behind the actions of the story’s characters, and the research that went into writing this piece. Here’s what she says about her attitude toward research:
The truth is, I love research. I love the melodrama of history and the magic of stepping mentally into another time, so I did a ton of research. Even as I type the answers to these questions, a vast “sensory” landscape covers one wall of my office, representing research for a novel set just after the revolution. It is a map of Havana with pushpins in all intersections of significant historical moments, surrounded by photos depicting the everyday people swept up in those events, complete with their glorious beehives or their iconic beards.
The interview finishes in a more general area. Taylor asks Blanco what she’s currently reading, what current projects she’s working on, and what advice she’d give to writers “who want to write fiction set against historically significant events,” making this interview an interesting read even for those who have yet to take in “A Sane Person Doesn’t Do Something Like That.”