Research Notes

Felt in the Jaw by Kristen N. Arnett

I don’t like to experience feelings. I’ll write characters who experience feelings so I don’t have to worry about actually experiencing them myself. Then they can feel something and I’ll understand what it’s like for them to have that weird, overwhelming, uncomfortable feelings, but I won’t have to deal with it.

Book Reviews

Near Haven by Matthew Stephen Sirois

The end of the world is nigh—and it’s only 1987. Scientists have calculated the precise day—almost a year away, at the top of the story—that a comet will collide with our planet and destroy human life as we know it.


Research Notes


Last week, last month, three years ago; on the bus, in a café, at my kitchen table; I sat down to write. What was in my mind? I have forgotten.



Human: An Interview with Chauna Craig

I always think of myself as “from” Montana, and when I’m out West, something in my whole being lifts up — like I can somehow breathe better. So yes, that call is always, always there. I keep trying to answer it in my writing, but someday I hope to be back where I belong.

Book Reviews

Aberrant by Marek Šindelka, tr Nathan Fields

A word of warning: Aberrant is not for the faint of heart. If the man-eating plant from Little Shop of Horrors brings back unsettling memories, know that Marek Šindelka’s debut novel has something much darker in store.


Research Notes

Joan Wilking on Mycology

Mycology was inspired in part by that etching of a mushroom I watched waving in the breeze in Paris. There was a long row of them. The one I was most drawn to was the pale, elegant Amanita Virosa, tasty but so deadly it will liquefy your internal organs.

Book Reviews

Dear Cyborgs by Eugene Lim

What effects, if any, do protests have on the people in power? Is it possible for citizens to invoke meaningful societal change through mass demonstrations? These difficult questions are at the heart of Dear Cyborgs.


Research Notes

Matthew Stephen Sirois on Near Haven

Eight years ago, this image fell toward me like a fly ball. I’d just finished drafting a shitty “practice novel” that I knew was inedible cellulose before the printed pages had cooled.

Book Reviews

Glory Days by Melissa Fraterrigo

Centered on the imaginary town of Ingleside, Nebraska, as it undergoes disruption and transition, the novel illuminates the broken lives that result from being cut off from the land and the once-vibrant farming and ranching culture that formed the town’s connective tissue.

Book Reviews

The Parthenon Bomber by Christos Chrissopoulos, tr John Cullen

Christos Chrissopoulos’s The Parthenon Bomber, a novella originally published in Greek in 2010, is about a criminal act and is structured like a case file.

Book Reviews

Not One Day by Anne Garréta, tr Emma Ramadan

Garréta, a member of Oulipo and author of the award-winning novel, Sphinx, begins with a question—what should she do to keep her readers engaged while they are waiting on her next novel?