Book Reviews

Happy Like This by Ashley Wurzbacher

Wurzbacher understands that happiness, as it’s come to be known as a concept, is out of reach, beyond prescription, unknowable.



Rooster by Dave Housley

Foghorn adjusts in the chair. His breast brushes up against the table and he tries to settle in. His tail feathers brush up against the wall.


Research Notes

Mark Barr on Watershed

In August 2002, I telephoned the Mansfield Dam in Austin, Texas, and asked if I could get a tour of the structure. 9-11 had happened just eleven months before, and the worker on the phone was pointedly suspicious. “Why would you want a tour of the dam?” he asked, and I suddenly saw my request in the new light.



Olive by Jenessa Abrams

In the mornings, Olive has an hour of unattended play before the nanny wakes up. She figured this out during this nanny’s first week, but she waited, like a rational person, to test her calculations, to ensure she would be alone.


Book Reviews

The Capital by Robert Menasse, tr Jamie Bulloch

As a literary place, Brussels has both real and metaphorical qualities that make it an enticing setting for fiction.



Of a Whole Body (Passing Through) by Tyler Barton

At 77, Allan is the youngest resident of Ecumenica Assisted Living. His lone window looks out at the service lot — five spaces and a fence white with birdshit — so he spends most mornings in Marcia’s room. She never speaks, but has the building’s best view.



Dolores Watches a Documentary by Kristen Havens

Dolores adores ice cream; she even sports a Rocky Road tattoo on her right butt cheek. But after watching a food production documentary on PBS, she becomes aware of the plight of the dairy cows.



Stacy and Chad by Isabel Armiento

I imagine Stacy when she’s not around, imagine her sinuous legs stretching across the firm white sheet of a hospital bed, swish.


Book Reviews

Human Matter by Rodrigo Rey Rosa, tr Eduardo Aparicio

Another fact: author Rodrigo Rey Rosa did visit the National Police Archive to research a novel. That novel became Human Matter, a book that is part documentary, part diary, and, as the epigraph of the novel makes clear, is a work of fiction “though it may not seem to be, though it may not want to seem to be.”


Research Notes

Anita Felicelli on Chimerica

When I was in elementary school, my father took a theater class in which they learned about different methods of acting, and one of these was Lee Strasbourg’s method acting. In method acting, an actor uses his or her own emotional memories to develop a realistic performance.



We Are Not Cat Island by Theresa J. Beckhusen

After our island’s veterinarian died, the cat population exploded.