Our Winter issue features fiction, nonfiction, and poetry: “Throwback Thursday” by Joshua Mohr: online, it’s the appearance of happiness that matters most. “Revision” by Mar Colón-Margolies: on assignment covering Texas’s abortion laws, a journalist considers the line between his humanity and his profession. “Wild Kingdom” and “World Away” by Octavio Solis: the tenacity of adolescent memories reveal themselves in a father’s explosive anger and in a school production of “The Diary of Anne Frank.” “Operator, Information” by Glen David Gold: picking up from Issue No. 100’s “The Plush Cocoon,” we offer another installment from Gold’s forthcoming three-volume memoir. “Flood Control,” […]
All issues from 2016.
‘Artificial Islands’ by Earle McCartney, ZYZZYVA No. 107, Fall Issue
Originally from south New Jersey, Earle McCartney is a San Francisco writer. The recipient of the Joseph Henry Jackson Award in 2013, his stories “Sawmill” and “Rhizomes” appeared in ZYZZYVA Issues No. 96 and No. 101, respectively. His newest story, “Artificial Islands,” can be found in the Fall issue.
As with McCartney’s last two stories in ZYZZYVA, “Artificial Islands” beautifully captures people in close relationship to the natural world—in this case, it’s the ocean, as an adolescent girl goes fishing for sharks with her older brother, her father, and a family friend. The following is an excerpt from the story. You can read in its entirety by getting a copy here. (Note: Earle McCartney will be part of the lineup for our ZYZZYVA Fall All-Stars event at Litcrawl.)
‘Kabul’ by Fatima Bhutto, ZYZZYVA No. 107, Fall Issue
Fatima Bhutto, photo by Paul Wetherell
Fatima Bhutto is the author of several books, including the memoir Songs of Blood and Sword (Nation Books) and the novel The Shadow of the Crescent Moon (Penguin Press). Her work has also appeared in the New Statesmen, the Daily Beast, the Guardian, and other publications. She lives in Karachi, Pakistan.
Her story “Kabul” appears in the Fall issue. The tale of Sheryar, a feckless young man, and Soraya, his pregnant—and even younger—lover, Bhutto’s story casts a cold (though not unsympathetic) eye on people trapped by circumstances seemingly beyond their power to change. The following is an excerpt from her story, but it can be read in full in our Fall issue, which you can order here.
‘Big Boss Bitch’ by Adrienne Celt, ZYZZYVA No. 107, Fall Issue
Adrienne Celt’s first novel, The Daughters (W.W. Norton/Liveright), won the 2015 PEN Southwest Book Award and was named a Best Book of the Year by NPR. Her writing has been recognized by the PEN/O. Henry Prize, and her fiction has appeared in Esquire, The Kenyon Review, Epoch, Prairie Schooner, and Ecotone, among other places. She also publishes a webcomic at loveamongthelampreys.com.
Her work of fiction, “Big Boss Bitch,” which she describes as “my horror story about the first female president,” appears in the Winter issue. The “horror,” by the way, isn’t in the fact of having a female president, but what happens to said female president. The following is an excerpt, but if you’d like to read Celt’s story in its entirety, you can get a copy here.
‘Portrait of the Alcoholic with Relapse Fantasy’ by Kaveh Akbar, ZYZZYVA No. 107, Fall Issue
Kaveh Akbar founded and edits Divedapper. His chapbook, Portrait of the Alcoholic, will be published in January by Sibling Rivalry Press, and his first full-length collection, Calling a Wolf a Wolf, is forthcoming from Alice James Books next fall. He is the recipient of a 2016 Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Fellowship from the Poetry Foundation and the Lucille Medwick Memorial Award from the Poetry Society of America.
Three of Akbar’s poems appear in the Winter issue, including this one, “Portrait of the Alcoholic with Relapse Fantasy.” We provide the poem in full, but you can read Akbar’s other poems—”Against Idleness” and “You Came to Feel the Fur But Didn’t Expect the Snout” in Issue No. 107, which you can buy here.
In the Fall Issue
Our Fall issue, replete with fiction, nonfiction, and poetry: A wide-ranging and revealing conversation between Andrew Foster Altschul and Geoffrey and Tobias Wolff, on writing, memory, and the craft of memoir. Lori Ostlund’s “A Little Customer Service”: A waitress questions the value of services rendered when she finds herself in the bed—and the distressed home—of a rich, carefree customer. Ann Cummin’s “Divination”: The burden of a brother toiling the land, serving his no-account father. Adrienne Celt’s “Big Boss Bitch”: They were certain they’d found the perfect female candidate for president. Then she started thinking on her own. Mark Chiusano’s “The […]
‘Stealth’ by Etan Nechin, ZYZZYVA No. 106, Spring/Summer
Etan Nechin is an Israeli-born writer currently living in New York. His work has appeared in such publications as Gravel Magazine, MonkeyBicycle, Entropy, and the Huffington Post, and several other publications in Hebrew. “Stealth” marks his First Time in Print for fiction in English.
Set at the beginning of the Persian Gulf War of the early ’90s, “Stealth” is narrated by a school boy living among a community of artists in Israel. Amid the gas masks, safety drills at school, and trading of U.S. military-themed bubble gum cards, there’s the everyday (and comic) life of a child trying to make sense of the world and his place in it. The following is an excerpt of “Stealth.” You can read the story in its entirety in Issue No. 106, which you can order here.
‘Hotel Bar’ by Ruth Madievsky, ZYZZYVA No. 106, Spring/Summer
Ruth Madievsky is the author of the collection Emergency Brake (Tavern Books). She is also a doctoral student at the University of Southern California’s School of Pharmacy, and a research assistant in an HIV clinic in Los Angeles.
Two of her latest poems appear in Issue No. 106: “Wind” and “Hotel Bar.” (Madievsky has been published in ZYZZYVA before. Her poem “Poem for Spring” appeared in No. 103.) Her work, as described by Maggie Millner in an interview with Madievsky, forces “a dialogue between her romantic and clinical inclinations and suggesting the body’s dangerous propensity for betrayal.” “Hotel Bar” could be seen as an example of that. Here it is in its entirety. You can read that poem and “Wind,” too, in Issue No. 106, which you can order here.
‘Amboise’ by Ariel Dorfman, ZYZZYVA No. 106, Spring/Summer
Ariel Dorfman is the acclaimed novelist, playwright and author of Death and the Maiden. His writing frequently appears in The New York Times, The Guardian, and The New Republic, as well as numerous other magazines internationally. He is a professor of literature and Latin American Studies at Duke University, and his most recent book is the memoir Feeding on Dreams: Confessions of an Unrepentant Exile.
In his story “Amboise,” Dorfman gives us Lucy and Leo, a couple visiting France, on their way from Paris to see Chenonceau. As they deal with the various hiccups keeping them from getting to their destination, Leo’s determination to see the famous castle before the day is through is fueled by a single thought: “Tomorrow I wouldn’t be alive.” Leo, whose health has been failing, is resolute on killing himself before then. The following is an excerpt of Dorfman’s story. You can read it in its entirety in Issue No. 106, which you can order here.
‘Who Will Help the Queen of the Rodeo?’ by Ron Carlson, ZYZZYVA No. 106, Spring/Summer
Ron Carlson is the author of several books of fiction, including Return to Oakpine (Viking) and The Signal (Penguin). He is the director of the MFA Program in Fiction at the University of California at Irvine. His fiction appeared in ZYZZYVA Issues No. 96 and No. 100.
His latest story for ZYZZYVA, “Who Will Help the Queen of the Rodeo?,” savors that time when families have just begun: the children are still children, the time spent together is uncomplicated, and the goodness of the world is palpable—even if we can’t help but know that this idyll is fleeting. Set at the beginning of a summer vacation, reading Carlson’s story now is apt. But it’s the story’s tenderness that makes it a particularly welcoming world in which to enter. The following is an excerpt of Carlson’s story. You can read it in its entirety in Issue No. 106, which you can order here.
‘Last Dance’ by Lou Mathews, ZYZZYVA No. 106, Spring/Summer
Lou Mathews has received a Pushcart Prize, a Katherine Anne Porter Prize, National Endowment for the Arts and California Arts Commission fellowships in fiction. His stories have been published in Black Clock, Tin House, New England Review, and many other literary magazines, ten fiction anthologies and several textbooks. His first novel, L.A. Breakdown was a Los Angeles Times Best Book.
Mathew’s story, “Last Dance,” which is from a longer work titled Shaky Town, presents us with a Los Angeles instantly recognizable to many Angelenos. It’s a Los Angeles that’s primarily Mexican American, blue-collar, and community-minded. The residents of Shaky Town know each other well (perhaps too well), and their shared histories are long and complex. The following is an excerpt of Mathew’s story. You can read it in its entirety in Issue No. 106, which you can order here.
In the Spring/Summer Issue
Issue No. 106 offers for your enjoyment more of the country’s finest stories, poetry, essays, and visual art: Ariel Dorfman’s “Amboise”: A long-time couple’s trip to France, in which perhaps only one of them will return from. Soma Mei Sheng Frazier’s “Clutter”: A riot of memories and thoughts pulls a stroke victim through the past and the present. Lou Mathew’s “Last Dance”: Can a widower find it in himself to grant his annoying neighbor (who makes a mean tamale) a beseeched courtesy? Ashley Nelson Levy’s “Auntie”: A teen daughter makes room in more ways than one for her mother’s dying […]