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Working Titles

Welcome to the Massachusetts Review's Working Titles! Working Titles are e-publications of prose too long for our print pages. Working Titles will be published bimonthly.

Working Titles are now available on Weightless Books, a local, independent e-book distributor. You can also find all of our Working Titles may be purchased as Kindle Singles or Kobo.

Working Titles are made possible with the generous support of the National Endowment for the Arts, the Massachusetts Cultural Council, Five Colleges, Inc., and the Max and Victoria Dreyfus Foundation, as well as private donors.

Parent Page: 

In a city running on digital currency and gig economies, scooter-tracker Sasha makes ends meet before a routine job bears unexpected consequences. Between the automated phone systems, food trucks, and bustling coffeeshops, Sasha's world is frighteningly not all that different from our own. But with subtle nods to an omnipresent strongman and truthful prose, Avital Balwit constructs a dystopian narrative for a digitized present.

"The seeds of the world that Balwit foretells are already planted in our lives, and like every great storyteller, she directs our attention to this living center, where the intolerable has become normal, and indignity has melted into resignation." 
—Shoshana Zuboff, from the afterward

"Avital Balwit builds a convincing world within the limited space of a short story, following the threads of our world to their perhaps-not-inevitable-if-we-can-help-it conclusions"-—Allison Kade, from the introduction

Read an excerpt here, and purchase directly from Weightless Books, Amazon, and Kobo

Avital Balwit is a writer from Portland, Oregon. She has short stories forthcoming in Lilith Magazine, Prairie Fire, and the Multispecies Cities anthology from Worldweaver Press. She won The Atlantic’s 2020 poetry contest. Her illustrated children’s book on octopus cognition will be published by Pop Up UK in Spring 2021. Avital is a Rhodes scholar studying political philosophy.

Working Titles Currently Available

Working Title 1.3: Tomorrow We Never Did Talk About It

a story by Eduardo Halfon, translated by Anne McLean

Working Title 1.4: Emergency Exit

a story by Carissa Halston

Working Title 1.5: Strange Mercies

a story by Pete Duval

Working Title 1.6: Just Another Jihadi Jane

a novel excerpt by Tabish Khair

Working Title 1.7: Ambrosia

a story by Lee Upton

Working Title 2.2: Time Served

an essay by J. Malcolm Garcia

Working Title 2.3: The Leader

a story by Nouri Zarrugh

Working Title 3.1: Table for One

A story by Yun Ko Eun, translated by Lizzie Buehler

On the Quay at Smyrna (Working Title 3.2)

a novella by Margot Demopoulos

The Tombs of Guy Debord

An Essay by Jean-Marie Apostolidès, translated by Laure Katsaros and Rene Kooiker

Night Hands

Jen Cross

AMOUR: Fields of Battle, Fields of Love

Véronique Tadjo, translated by Carolyn Shread

Silence Like Blood

Marie-Célie Agnant, translated by Dawn Fulton

CAPE COD, REVISITED

Michael Thurston

Bird Girl

Avital Balwit

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