Book Reviews

A Long Curving Scar Where the Heart Should Be by Quintan Ana Wikswo

Pulsing at the center of Quintan Ana Wikswo’s lush new novel, A Long Curving Scar Where the Heart Should Be, is a huge white house on a hill—a house inhabited by three women, abandoned by the man they love, and the outcasts they succor.



Glass House by Elise Blackwell

When she returned to Dauphine Street after the funeral, she removed the draperies from every window of their monstrous house before she removed even her patent-leather heels, which made ascending and descending the stepladder difficult, even foolish.


Book Reviews

In The Distance by Hernan Diaz

Hernan Diaz’s In the Distance is more than just an atypical Western: it’s also an atypical ‘New Western,’ charting out fresh territory even among those postmodern novels that appropriate the conventions of the classic Western for subversive purposes.


Research Notes

Leesa Cross-Smith on Whiskey & Ribbons

Write a short story that won’t let you go. Be embarrassed to submit it to a fancy contest but submit it anyway and be eating a veggie burrito at your desk when it’s announced that it has won Editor’s Choice. Decide to write it as a play and fail. Decide to write it as a screenplay and fail.



The Regency Era by Avee Chaudhuri

After four months without a phone call or letter, our Uncle returned to Portland on Christmas Eve with a cocktail waitress he had covered head to toe in fresh mud.



An Interview With Kerry Neville

Kerry Neville discusses her recent collection Remember to Forget Me.

Book Reviews

Maranatha Road by Heather Bell Adams

Appalachian fiction has a reputation for its split-knuckle prose, lean and raw, which pummels its reader into a vicarious experience of a hard-scrabble life in decaying towns, complete with heavy drinking and labor in the mines, lumberyards, or rail shops. This is the Appalachia that readers of J.D. Vance’s toxic Hillbilly Elegy have come to expect, an Appalachia blighted by addictions and poverty.



Girl in Knots¹ by Carol Guess and Aimee Parkison

Whatever you want is what I want and I want whatever you want because you want it.


Book Reviews

Like a Champion by Vincent Chu

As children, many readers grow up on classic tales of thrilling adventures and triumphant heroes. By contrast, the stories in Like a Champion are all about defeat.



Love Story In A Movie Theater Where A Loud Man Is Smoking A Cigarette by Daniel Paul

The plan (unspoken but mutual) had been to break up after the movie. It’s over, but let’s spend an evening mourning it, externalizing its collapse onto flickering lights in a dark theater.


Book Reviews

ActivAmerica by Meagan Cass

In ActivAmerica, which is the 2017 winner of the Katherine Anne Porter Prize in short fiction, Cass uses sports and athleticism to draw out her characters’ true mettle.