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10 Questions for Erika T. Wurth

- By Edward Clifford

"Jim," she said.

He turned to her. He was sitting on the couch in the living room, that same sinking couch that had belonged to his parents, as had the houes. She was in the kitchen making something to eat. They had been out late the night before, and had woken up only an hour ago. Jim felt horrible. Cecilia, on the other hand, never seemed hung-over. Even when she drank, and she could drfink most women, and some men, under the table, she always seemed in control.
—from "Cecilia," Volume 61, Issue 4 (Winter 2020)

Tell us about one of the first pieces you wrote.
How far back do you want to go? I think the first story I wrote was in eighth grade and it was a Stephen King style story that ended in “ahhhhh!...


Our America

WTF?

- By A Friend in Sarajevo

(Photo: A "Sarajevo Rose," turned into an ersatz war memorial.)

I’ve been thinking what to write since last night and I keep drawing a blank. Mostly because I figure you already know whatever I might end up saying. Also, cognitive dissonance, I think. The impossible becomes possible, then it becomes actual, but still somehow remains inconceivable. Also, sensory overload from all the news, the images: the dude in the chewbacca bikini, the dude carrying out the dais, waving to the camera with a picture postcard smile and a ridiculous pom-pom hat like he’s going cross-country skiing, so childish, so lovably American, so out of touch with reality… I think we’ve been taking reality for granted.

And then there’s my own baggage. I can...


Our America

A Fascism for Our Time

- By Harry Harootunian

(Image: Ben Shahn, Walking Figures: circa 1960, silkscreen.)

Abstract

“A Fascism for Our Time” focuses on how the accidental convergence of global capital and the COVID pandemic, by traveling the same route, has inadvertently unveiled unraveling circumstances in our political, economic, and social life that easily point to the possible formation of a fascist political imaginary in the United States, if not its final realization in the near future. The essay seeks to show how the coming together of affirmative avowals attesting to the appearance of fascism and the acknowledged historic weaknesses of the received constitutional and institutional endowment...


Reviews

Celebration

- By Jim Hicks

The Regal Lemon Tree by Juan José Saer (Open Letter, 2020)

Though I’m less than certain about the world, and definitely not optimistic at all about this country, as far as I’m concerned the New Year couldn’t have started better. I spent it at a family celebration: three brothers-in-law, two of their wives and all the kids, the girls back from the big city, a friend in tow as well, roasting a lamb, sitting together outside around a big table, reminiscing about old times and imagining the future, drinking lots of red wine—eventually some local musicians showed up, and then the dancing began. It doesn’t get any better.

Okay, yeah...


Interviews

10 Questions for Sonya Chyu

- By Edward Clifford

The first day of their year arrived four weeks later than the rest of the world's. Or, perhaps, the rest of the world's year had simply started forty-eight weeks early. In either case, the day was marked by great occasion: work and study were suspended for a week to accommodate cross-country travel and family reunions.
—from "The Middle of Things," Volume 60, Issue 3 (Fall 2020)

Tell us about one of the first pieces you wrote.
My first published piece, "Sartorial Shedding," was birthed from a Creative Writing course taught by the always-witty Ernesto Quinones at Cornell University, and inspired by the summer I had just spent in Thailand as part of a business internship program. Though I am not Thai, the...


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