In this issue:
“This Is Why We Can’t Have Nasty Things” by Charlie Jane Anders: “San Francisco used to have a million pockets and folds in her long flowery skirts, where the strange and barely loved could create their own reality. But lately, not so much.” (Best American Short Stories 2020 Notable)
“Andi Taylor vs. Artemis Victor” by Rita Bullwinkel: “The fact of the two girls’ bodies was not lost on Artemis Victor or Andi Taylor or on any of the young women in the Daughters of America tournament. Their body was the only tool they had at their disposal.”
“Island of Beginnings” by Lydia Conklin: “Sometimes Posey forgot that she’d emerged on this side of her marriage middle-aged. That she’d grown a potbelly and her hair was stringy from years of dying it what she had thought until recently was a striking crimson.” (Best American Short Stories 2020 Notable)
“Ring Around the Equator, Pockets Full of Acres” by Chia-Chia Lin: “It mimicked her life at work, when she calculated the hours until lunch, or how much of the day was left, or how much of the week or year. But her new athletic life was a different kind of life. A second, better life?”
“Strangers” by Nina Schuyler: “Then I heard the coyotes howling—they were always moving, large packs at night, displaced from the never-ending construction. I imagined them sprinting on the dirt paths like veins on the hills, illuminated by the moon, sprinting to catch a rabbit, a mouse, sprinting for the sheer pleasure of sprinting.”
And First-Time-in-Print “Channel 4” by Michael Sears and short short stories by Ingrid Rojas Contreras and Andrew Roe
Paul Wilner on Lowell High School and youthful literary pursuit, Gloria Frym on the wide resurgence of a late writer and beloved friend’s work, and Lydia Kiesling on the grasping for home, and its slipping away.
sam sax, Meg Hurtado Bloom, Luiza Flynn-Goodlett, W.S. Di Piero, Sara Mumolo, Kevin Simmonds, Lady Nestor Gomez, and Matthew Zapruder
Dodie Bellamy and the late Kevin Killian—stalwarts of the New Narrative and the unconventional life—on poets, art, and San Francisco.
The notebook sketches of Lawrence Ferlinghetti (introduced by Mauro Aprile Zanetti) and the photography of Janet Delaney (introduced by Nathan Heller).
“Odd Jobs” by Jonathan Escoffery: A college grad living out of his car can’t be too finicky about what a young woman asks him to do for a bit of cash.
“Panda Express” by Francisco González: Far from the eyes of family, a student allows himself to savor what he truly hungers for.
“Jello Sees” by Kathleen Mackay: “Jello had come to hate the celebrities. Funhouse faces that looked familiar and disappointing in their ordinariness, but always beautiful, always remarkable for their familiarity. This seemed unfair.”
Plus stories from Michelle Latiolais, Siel Ju, Andres Reconco, and Perry Janes. And in honor of Ray Bradbury’s centenary, a republication of his classic story “The Pedestrian.”
“Postcard from L.A., April” by Nina Revoyr: When you’ve long been attuned to life’s precariousness, what does the growing threat of pandemic mean?
“Nabokov's Rocking Chair: Lolita at the Movies” by Tom Bissell: On the daunting difficulties of adapting the singular novel to the screen and the story’s other (and overlooked) tragic hero—Charlotte Haze.
“Alterations” by Wendy C. Ortiz: “I write to you, craving. I know there are music and texts I won’t gravitate toward in these next few fragile weeks of newness, because they threaten to drive me back to pleasure …”
“Drive” by David L. Ulin: “If time is an abstraction, a set of isolated instants, it is also a physical force. I see it three, four times a week, every time I come here, every time I make the turn onto the 10.”
Plus essays by Joe Donnelly (on the enduring legacy of the wolf known as OR-7) and A. Kendra Greene (on the museum that is the Holyland Exhibition).
The late Wanda Coleman on writing for TV, running in the same circles as Charles Bukowski, and being “a poet, about as valueless as anyone in this nation can be. But maybe I save a life.”
Victoria Chang, David Hernandez, Genevieve Kaplan, Douglas Manuel, Dan Murphy, and Mary Otis.
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