Book Reviews

In the Event of Contact by Ethel Rohan

If there are definitive themes to be found in Ethel Rohan’s new collection of stories, one is Ireland, and the other is men — how they arrive from over the hill, under the bridge, at the side of the road, and bring with them their world.



Special Request by Kevin M. Kearney

You don’t have to be famous to be featured on SpecialRequest. It’ll drive your rate up, sure, but it’s not a requirement.


Book Reviews

Trafik by Rikki Ducornet

The greatest pleasures of Rikki Ducornet’s Trafik are linguistic, or, more accurately, they are sonic, tactile — in a word, sensual.



The Beating He Deserved by Ace Boggess

I hadn’t been in a fight since the regional jail. Even then, I turtled and let my bigger, uglier opponent whale on me until the other inmates pulled him off before the guards came.


Book Reviews

Tropicália by Ananda Lima

Tropicália, a ripe morsel of a short story collection by Ananda Lima, offers three tightly-wound speculative satires that are hard to swallow but exciting to read.


Research Notes

Gian Sardar on Take What You Can Carry

For years, my father’s stories of growing up in Kurdistan of Iraq were repeated to friends and family; incredible, heartbreaking accounts that often returned to me in moments of reflection, challenging me to learn from his example.



The Day They Robbed the Hamburger Kiosk by Slawka G. Scarso

Summers were endless then. The few days spent by the seaside with my parents were followed by weeks of boredom. I have no brothers or sisters, and none of my friends lived nearby.


Book Reviews

Strange Children by Sadie Hoagland
Sadie Hoagland’s mesmerizing novel, Strange Children, follows a group of young people from a fictional polygamist cult called Redfield, in Utah. Hoagland stitches together the past and present of this fundamentalist religious community through eight first-person narrators.


Dogwood, 1938 by Michael Ruby

I was twelve and my brother Daniel was nine when we began our lessons with Sister Marie. She’d somehow gotten word of the boys living motherless on a farm ten miles out in the Puyallup Valley, unable to read or write.


Book Reviews

You Have to Make Your Own Fun Around Here by Frances Macken

Following these young women from their childhood to their 20s, Macken’s novel grapples with the successes and disappointments that splinter their friendship. This tension between expectation and reality — between dreams and growing up — becomes a driving narrative force in the novel.



The Great American Eclipse by Jessica Goldschmidt

What it felt like: A hole in the sky to see through. Staring at the too-bright page craving ready revelation, something like, Oh my God, I am or Oh my God, I love or Oh my God, I will.