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Working Titles Excerpts

A Short Inquiry into the End of the World

- By David Stromberg

It looked like a regular day—all business as usual—but I knew that the world had come to an end. People went about their business as if nothing had happened. And I, too, did all the same things. I woke up in the same bed, went into the same shower, used the same soap. But I knew it was the end of days. And that, to understand how we got here, I had no choice but to investigate.

With everything destroyed, I couldn’t go outside, so I sat down at my desk and began with the only resource I had: my library. And since my only clue was the date of the apocalypse, September 11, 2021, I began by looking in the rubble of Art Spiegelman’s In the Shadow of No Towers.

I’d been in the audience, as a young gumshoe, when Spiegelman came to our college...

Working Titles Excerpts

Bird Girl (Working Title Vol 6.1)

- By Avital Balwit

The Massachusetts Review presents the newest e-book in our Working Titles series: Bird Girl by Avital Balwit. Available now!

"It was August, and the days came damp and hot. The morning air shone so that you knew the afternoon would swelter. Sasha had AC, but kept her windows open anyways to let in the mild nights. It was 8 a.m. and time to close them. A faint buzz caught her attention, “11:48 p.m., Selby Street and 10th, 547XD1IY,” less than a mile away. She clicked accept and checked the map again. It looked like she’d be off-roading. She found her hiking boots in the closet and set out.

The job worked with her hours. She could do it early in the morning, or she could do it in the middle of the night. The light made...

Working Titles Excerpts

Cape Cod, Revisited (Working Titles Volume 5.2)

- By Michael Thurston

The Massachusetts Review presents the newest e-book in our Working Titles series: Cape Cod, Revisited by Michael Thurston, with an introduction by Russ Rymer. Available now!

"Cape Cod begins with a shipwreck.

On October 9, 1849, Henry David Thoreau and William Ellery Channing traveled together to Cape Cod. Having planned to take the steamer from Boston to Provincetown but learning upon arrival in Boston that the boat had been delayed by a storm and that, in the same storm, the St. John had run aground just off Cohasset (“Death!” read the handbill they noticed in the streets: “one hundred and forty five lives lost at Cohasset”), they changed course. Thoreau and Channing opted instead for the...

Working Titles Excerpts

Silence Like Blood (Working Titles Volume 5.1)

- By Marie-Célie Agnant

The Massachusetts Review presents the latest Working Titles e-book: Silence Like Blood, a novella by Marie-Célie Agnant, translated and with an introduction by Dawn Fulton. Available now!

"My Dear Claire,

If I’m writing to you, it’s only out of respect for the promise I made, not, as you asked, to tell you everything I see. For I can only see what is shown. This letter will likely be incoherent and very long. I can’t help that. But I will try to put...

Working Titles Excerpts

AMOUR: Fields of Battle, Fields of Love (Working Titles 4.2)

- By Véronique Tadjo, translated by Carolyn Shread

The Massachusetts Review presents the latest Working Titles e-book: AMOUR: FIELDS OF BATTLE, FIELDS OF LOVE, a novella by Véronique Tadjo, translated and with an introduction by Carolyn Shread. Available now!

"One anonymous night he found himself in a tidy village. The bus came to a stop at the end of a long road that stretched out into the dark. He clambered down with his bag in one hand. His feet hit the ground with a painful thud. His swollen ankles ached.

The village was asleep. He stood there for a moment as the bus roared off. Already he wanted to leave. Then the thought crossed his mind, what’s the point? He had to stop somewhere.

It was so much easier on the bus. Trees streamed past, towns and villages sped by...

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