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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Kerry Neville discusses her recent collection Remember to Forget Me.
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.
Whatever you want is what I want and I want whatever you want because you want it.
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.
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.
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.