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Working Titles Excerpts

The Leader (Working Title 2.3)

- By Nouri Zarrugh

 

The Massachusetts Review presents the latest Working Titles e-book: “THE LEADER by Nouri Zarrugh-–available this week!

From THE LEADER:

That last February before the war and the hard years that were to follow it, forty-one years after the Leader’s revolution, Laila woke to the sound of explosions in the street. She sat clutching the blanket, eyes darting, half expecting to find herself buried in dust and rubble, her vision slowly adjusting to the familiar sight of the armoire and the floral cushions piled beside it, the matching nightstand and the ceramic lamp and on the other side of them, undisturbed, the sheets tucked and folded, Hajj Yunus’s empty bed, glowing in the faint...


Working Titles Excerpts

The Bombay Liaison (is Grateful) (Working Titles 1.1) Excerpt

- By Dinika Amaral


From “The Bombay Liaison (is Grateful)”:

“They all came to India looking for something. For spirituality. For yoga and fasting. To feed their hunger and thirst with spice and other gastronomic items. Some came for business, cheap shopping, a ten-day wedding. Others came to tick off an item on their bucket list, viz., the Great Wall of China, the Eiffel Tower, or the Pyramids and the Sphinx. Still others were attracted by the exotic painted for them, with so many colors, by Bollywood and Hollywood.

Georgina was aware of the spectrum of reasons when she chose India—specifically, the commercial capital, Bombay—as her destination. But, she thought, over one...


Working Titles Excerpts

Much Ado About Everything (Working Titles 1.2) Excerpt

- By Gary Amdahl

 

From Much Ado About Everything:

CLEMENT MOTHERS, Sweet Fathers: the Neanderthals laid their dead in graves and covered them with flowers. This is certain, in all the ways that we can approve certainty. It is also possible to think that they sang, wordlessly, and danced, strangely, while they wept. They were, it continues to be possible to think, big sentimental artistic oafs, without the vocal apparatus, without the right shape of jaw, the right kind of teeth, lips, a tongue that did not loll and flex with the articulate power and grace of our later, superior tongues, without the refined larynx, without the properly extended throat, the almighty...


Working Titles Excerpts

Tomorrow We Never Did Talk About It (Working Titles 1.3)

- By Eduardo Halfon, translated by Anne McLean

From Tomorrow We Never Did Talk About It:

When we left, at the end of the day, the tank was still parked in front of the school. The bus maneuvered through the main gate much more slowly than usual, kind of cautiously, maybe so all of us school kids would be able to get a look at that old tank: imposing and magnificent among the chaos of soldiers, journalists, police, paramedics, firemen, and so many parents. I turned around and noticed that each one of the thirteen yellow school buses had a Red Cross flag draped across the front. Suddenly our bus stopped and kept still for a few minutes, half shuddering amid the commotion of vehicles and people. Inside, nobody spoke. Nobody dared to move...


Working Titles Excerpts

Emergency Exit (Working Titles 1.4) Excerpt

- By Carissa Halston

 

From Emergency Exit:

Months 5–19

The Stewardess was out of control. She was told when to speak, what to say, what to wear, when to change it, how to stand, where to sit, and how to serve. But she decided whom to service. And she decided how. Four passengers: two men, two women. Always in the lavs, always inflight, always all the way. And once they’d landed in postcoital waters, the Stewardess laid down the rules.

First, an agreement. The Stewardess would leave first. Second, the prevention of discovery. The Stewardess would hang an out of order sign on the door to the lav. Third, an understanding. No acknowledgment and no repeat performances. Fourth—and finally—a handshake. It was official. It was professional. It was the...


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